John Fuller: Who is Ozymandias?


Chris Wallace-Crabbe


Who is Ozymandias? And Other Puzzles in Poetry
by John Fuller
Random House, $36.95 hb, 256 pp, 9780701184575


Those who write about poetry these days don’t go in much for lightness. More often their solemnity springs from the need to score research points or from their front-line positions in gang wars. If only the verbal art could have a critic who trod as lightly as the epigrams of Laurie Duggan or the juxtapositional poems of Jennifer Maiden. But wishes are not horses, and we must be grateful for what we’ve got. Recently to hand is an agreeably jaunty book of essays from the Oxford poet John Fuller. He certainly likes to keep it light and clear: pedagogical in the gentlest way. As critic he reads hard, but writes soft: a close reader with a free rein, we might say. And he knows that any modern poem is, metaphorically, a hybrid between layered onion and head of broccoli.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Published in March 2012 no. 339

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.