Anthony Lynch reviews 'Goad Omen' by Corey Wakeling

Early in his Literary Theory: An Introduction, Terry Eagleton quotes the Russian formalist critic Roman Jakobson: ‘[literature is writing that represents] organised violence committed on ordinary speech.’ I don’t know if Corey Wakeling has been influenced by the formalists’ theories, but Goad Omen, his energetic first collection, is replete with estranging devices that bring attention to poetry as a structure in which ideas and images are set adrift from the anchor of ‘ordinary’ language in utilitarian settings. Within the space of a few lines in almost any given poem, violent ructions in image, ideas, syntax, and grammar occur: ‘pace the percussion of patience through lotus guarantee / banquet the animosity hoax, misplacement. Pert nark’ (‘The Blush’).

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