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The Hum of Bees

August 2004, no. 263

Changes: New & collected poems 1962-2002 by Keith Harrison

Black Willow Press, $25 pb, 374 pp

The Hum of Bees

August 2004, no. 263

The word ‘collected’ on a book of poems has its embedded dangers. Collected Poems are like autobiographies: they encourage readers to confuse them with the writer’s flow of life. And we can all see what’s wrong with that, I hope. That cagey old player, W.H. Auden, issued this injunction:

Great writers who have shown mankind
An order it has yet to find,
What if all critics say of you
As personalities be true?
You had the patience that survives
Soiled, shabby, egotistic lives …

He also refused to write an autobiography.

Chris Wallace-Crabbe reviews 'Changes: New & collected poems 1962-2002' by Keith Harrison

Changes: New & collected poems 1962-2002

by Keith Harrison

Black Willow Press, $25 pb, 374 pp

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