Faith and formalism

Ezekiel's vision The True Gods Attend You Clarence Caddell, Bonfire Books, 2022, 71 pages, £11.80 MICHAEL YOST finds a collection of original religiously-inspired verse rather forced There are two major traditions pertinent to verse literature that are seldom engaged in, but for all that are the more interesting when an artist does make use of…

Last flowers of Bloom

Harold Bloom STODDARD MARTIN remembers a dedicated litterateur’s late works One can hardly think but with affection of Harold Bloom, addict of the Word, historic lover of literature, and coiner of the phrase “anxiety of influence” among other more recondite tags. It would be invidious not to feel that affection when considering his final books,…

Dispatches from 1643

The following is an extract from Book II of William G Carpenter’s epic poem about the English Civil Wars. The poet is Philip Meadowe, assistant to John Milton in his role as Foreign Language Secretary for the Council of State under the Protectorate.  Meadowe reads his lines to Milton at Milton’s house in Petty France,…

The hunt for Merlin

The story so far (Chapters 2-8 inclusive have all previously been published on this site, starting here). The complete poem has just been published as A Man of Heart, by Shearsman. Mid 5th century Britain. After the legions have withdrawn, the island is facing civil war, a growing number of external enemies and a steady tide of pagan…

Parnassus, and patria

Tumuli at Revesby in Lincolnshire Sunken Island: An Anthology of British Poetry Various authors, edited by Alexander Adams, foreword by William Clouston, London: Bournbrook Press, 2022, pb, 55pps, £12.50 Bournbrook Press is an offshoot of Bournbrook Magazine, founded in 2019 to offer a “primarily British audience with traditionalist, socially conservative argument and entertainment”. This venture’s…

“Once upon a time I was a poet”

Basil Bunting. Photo: National Portrait Gallery, Creative Commons licence Letters of Basil Bunting Selected and edited by Alex Niven, Oxford University Press, 2022, £35 LIAM GUILAR welcomes new insights into a little-studied modernist's mind Basil Bunting died in 1985. Despite having been praised as one of the twentieth century’s ‘greatest poets’ critical attention to his…

Highwire poetry

Wildcat Dreams in the Death Light Reagan M. Sova, First to Knock, 2022, 265 pages, US$17 LIAM GUILAR takes a ringside seat for a dazzling extravaganza ‘Wildcat Dreams in the Death Light is an incantatory work of narrative poetry. Infused with hobo melancholy, Jewish lore, bloodshed and hilarity…’. It’s rare for a blurb to be…

Five poems by Colin James

COLIN JAMES has had a couple of chapbooks of poetry published - Dreams Of The Really Annoying (Writing Knights Press) and A Thoroughness Not Deprived of Absurdity (Piski's Porch Press), and a book of poems, Resisting Probability (Sagging Meniscus Press). A talent for legitimacy Episodically craved by adolescents, Prometheus displays his tats behind The Dollar…

A Queen in the Wilderness

LIAM GUILAR's epic of post-Roman Britain enters its eighth chapter The Story So Far (Chapters 2-7 inclusive have all previously been published on this site, starting here). The complete poem will be published as A Man of Heart in 2023, by Shearsman. Mid Fifth Century Britain. After the legions have withdrawn, the island is facing…