Search Results

Advanced Search

16 to 30 of 61 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

Tales of Hofmann

Blake Morrison, 20 November 1986

Acrimony 
by Michael Hofmann.
Faber, 79 pp., £8.95, October 1986, 0 571 14527 2
Show More
Idols 
by Stephen Romer.
Oxford, 48 pp., £3.95, September 1986, 0 19 281984 4
Show More
Opia 
by Alan Moore.
Anvil, 83 pp., £4.50, August 1986, 9780856461613
Show More
New Chatto Poets 
edited by Andrew Motion.
Chatto, 79 pp., £4.95, September 1986, 0 7011 3080 6
Show More
A.D. Hope: Selected Poems 
edited by Ruth Morse.
Carcanet, 139 pp., £3.95, April 1986, 0 85635 640 9
Show More
The Electrification of the Soviet Union 
by Craig Raine.
Faber, 69 pp., £8.95, August 1986, 0 571 14539 6
Show More
Show More
... The acrimony in Michael Hofmann’s book is that of a son towards his father. Like a family photograph album, the sequence ‘My Father’s House’ records the son’s growth from childhood to manhood, and the father’s from early to late middle age: each poem denotes some new phase, and usually low point, in the relationship. The father’s absences and absent-mindedness, his tempers, adulteries and workaholism, his patronising of his wife and children – these sins and omissions are meticulously totted up ...

The Smell of Blood

Blake Morrison: Sarah Moss, 13 August 2020

Summerwater 
by Sarah Moss.
Picador, 202 pp., £14.99, August, 978 1 5290 3543 8
Show More
Show More
... All day​ it has rained,’ goes a poem written by Alun Lewis in 1941, while he was stationed with the Royal Engineers in Hampshire, ready for war but not yet called to action. It’s a poem about being bored and being grateful for the boredom since worse is to come. ‘We talked of girls and dropping bombs on Rome.’ Beyond the humdrum detail – groundsheets, dirty socks, Woodbines – the mood is ominous ...

It wasn’t the Oval

Blake Morrison: Michael Frayn, 7 October 2010

My Father’s Fortune: A Life 
by Michael Frayn.
Faber, 255 pp., £16.99, September 2010, 978 0 571 27058 3
Show More
Show More
... Why is cricket so appealing to playwrights – English and Irish ones anyway? Samuel Beckett represented his university against Northants. Harold Pinter, who wrote wistfully of seeing Len Hutton in his prime, captained a team called the Gaieties XI. Simon Gray, David Hare and Ronald Harwood are or were known to be keen on the game, too. And Tom Stoppard, another follower, has a striking set-piece in The Real Thing in which a playwright, explaining dramatic technique, says: ‘What we’re trying to do is to write cricket bats ...

You and Non-You

Blake Morrison: ‘This Mournable Body’, 7 May 2020

This Mournable Body 
by Tsitsi Dangarembga.
Faber, 384 pp., £14.99, January, 978 0 571 35551 8
Show More
Show More
... Early on​ in This Mournable Body, a skimpily dressed woman in ‘sky-high heels’ falls backwards onto muddy ground while trying to climb into a crowded Harare minibus. Nobody comes to her aid. Instead, she’s jeered at. Her offence is hubris, or what the crowd takes to be hubris: ‘Who does she think she is? Let her have it.’ Objects are thrown, misogynistic insults shouted; the dress is ripped from her body ...

Beach Poets

Blake Morrison, 16 September 1982

The Fortunate Traveller 
by Derek Walcott.
Faber, 99 pp., £3.95, March 1982, 0 571 11893 3
Show More
Sun Poem 
by Edward Kamau Brathwaite.
Oxford, 104 pp., £4.95, April 1982, 0 19 211945 1
Show More
Collected Poems 
by Bernard Spencer, edited by Roger Bowen.
Oxford, 149 pp., £8.50, October 1981, 0 19 211930 3
Show More
Selected Poems 
by Odysseus Elytis.
Anvil, 114 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85646 076 1
Show More
Poems from Oby 
by George MacBeth.
Secker, 67 pp., £4, March 1982, 9780436270178
Show More
The New Ewart: Poems 1980-1982 
by Gavin Ewart.
Hutchinson, 115 pp., £4.95, March 1982, 0 09 146980 5
Show More
The Apple-Broadcast 
by Peter Redgrove.
Routledge, 133 pp., £3, November 1981, 0 7100 0884 8
Show More
Show More
... A more sophisticated version of Larkin’s cry ‘Foreign poetry? No!’ is the belief that the poetry of certain parts of the world (Eastern Europe, for example) is intrinsically more interesting than that of other parts. This isn’t only a matter of some countries being thought politically more dramatic, and therefore poetically more absorbing, than others, nor of the Teutonic going down better here than the Latin ...

Every three years

Blake Morrison, 3 March 1988

Fifty Poems 
by Ian Hamilton.
Faber, 51 pp., £4.95, January 1988, 0 571 14920 0
Show More
A Various Art 
edited by Andrew Crozier and Tim Longville.
Carcanet, 377 pp., £12.95, December 1987, 0 85635 698 0
Show More
Between Leaps: Poems 1972-1985 
by Brad Leithauser.
Oxford, 81 pp., £5.95, September 1987, 0 19 282089 3
Show More
Eldorado 
by William Scammell.
Peterloo, 71 pp., £4.50, October 1987, 0 905291 88 3
Show More
Disbelief 
by John Ash.
Carcanet, 127 pp., £6.95, September 1987, 0 85635 695 6
Show More
The Automatic Oracle 
by Peter Porter.
Oxford, 72 pp., £4.95, November 1987, 0 19 282088 5
Show More
Voice-over 
by Norman MacCaig.
Chatto, 64 pp., £5.95, February 1988, 0 7011 3313 9
Show More
Show More
... Now that poetry has been brought into the marketplace, and publishers have discovered how to make a modest profit from it, and now that publication outlets can be found in any good-sized store, so productivity levels in British poetry have increased dramatically. Most poets these days publish a new collection of thirty or forty poems every three or four years; some are more industrious than even that ...

Tropical Storms

Blake Morrison, 6 September 1984

Poems of Science 
edited by John Heath-Stubbs and Phillips Salman.
Penguin, 328 pp., £4.95, June 1984, 0 14 042317 6
Show More
The Kingfisher 
by Amy Clampitt.
Faber, 92 pp., £4, April 1984, 0 571 13269 3
Show More
The Ice Factory 
by Philip Gross.
Faber, 62 pp., £3.95, June 1984, 0 571 13217 0
Show More
Venus and the Rain 
by Medbh McGuckian.
Oxford, 57 pp., £4.50, June 1984, 0 19 211962 1
Show More
Saying hello at the station 
by Selima Hill.
Chatto, 48 pp., £2.95, June 1984, 0 7011 2788 0
Show More
Dreaming Frankenstein and Collected Poems 
by Liz Lochhead.
Polygon, 159 pp., £2.95, May 1984, 0 904919 80 3
Show More
News for Babylon: The Chatto Book of West Indian-British Poetry 
edited by James Berry.
Chatto, 212 pp., £4.95, June 1984, 9780701127978
Show More
Human Rites: Selected Poems 1970-1982 
by E.A. Markham.
Anvil, 127 pp., £7.95, May 1984, 0 85646 112 1
Show More
Midsummer 
by Derek Walcott.
Faber, 79 pp., £3.95, July 1984, 0 571 13180 8
Show More
Show More
... Johnson’s Imlac, urging that the poet neglect the ‘minuter discriminations’ of the tulip leaf in favour of ‘general properties’, has been unpopular for two hundred years, never more so than now, when it is believed that accumulated tiny detail – thinginess – vouches for a poem’ s authenticity. But Imlac also argues, apparently contradicting himself, that ‘to a poet nothing can be useless,’ that he ‘must know many languages and many sciences’ and through his command of botany, zoology, astronomy, politics, ethics and so on become a ‘legislator of mankind ...

Sex’n’Love

Blake Morrison, 21 February 1991

The Chatto Book of Love Poetry 
edited by John Fuller.
Chatto, 374 pp., £13.99, August 1990, 0 7011 3453 4
Show More
The Faber Book of Blue Verse 
edited by John Whitworth.
Faber, 305 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 571 14095 5
Show More
Self-Portrait with a Slide 
by Hugo Williams.
Oxford, 62 pp., £5.95, June 1990, 0 19 282744 8
Show More
The Virago Book of Love Poetry 
edited by Wendy Mulford.
Virago, 288 pp., £6.99, November 1990, 1 85381 030 4
Show More
Erotica: An Anthology of Women’s Writing 
edited by Margaret Reynolds, foreword by Jeanette Winterson .
Pandora, 362 pp., £19.99, November 1990, 9780044406723
Show More
Daddy, Daddy 
by Paul Durcan.
Blackstaff, 185 pp., £5.95, August 1990, 0 85640 446 2
Show More
Show More
... How much do love and sex have in common? Not enough, it seems, for them to appear together in anthologies, which increasingly cater either for the sentimental or the pornographic market. We need not be surprised by this. Men, at any rate, have often maintained that sexual intercourse may occur without any undue engagement of the emotions, just as love need not hinder the serious business of living and working and getting on ...

Hobohemianism

Blake Morrison, 30 June 2011

The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp 
by W.H. Davies.
Amberley, 192 pp., £14.99, September 2010, 978 1 84868 980 0
Show More
Show More
... According to W.H. Davies, tramps often buried surplus items of clothing or footwear by the side of the road, knowing they could retrieve them should they pass the same way again. In his second volume of autobiography, Later Days, published in 1925, Davies lists a few of his deposits: a shirt on the banks of the Mississippi, a pair of boots in the Allegheny mountains, a coat under rocks on Long Island Sound ...

When you’d started a world war

Blake Morrison: Walter Kempowski, 20 June 2019

Homeland 
by Walter Kempowski, translated by Charlotte Collins.
Granta, 240 pp., £14.99, November 2018, 978 1 78378 352 6
Show More
Show More
... Why has​ so little of Walter Kempowski’s work appeared in English? In Germany he published forty-odd books but only two of his novels were translated into English during his lifetime: Aus grosser Zeit (Days of Greatness) in 1978 and Hundstage (Dog Days – not to be confused with Günter Grass’s Hundejahre, Dog Years) ten years later. There was also a collection of interviews, Did You Ever See Hitler?, one of the three ‘inquiry’ volumes accompanying his autobiographical novel sequence, Deutsche Chronik, though to buy it now you’d have to fork out £144 ...

He will need a raincoat

Blake Morrison: Fathers and Sons, 14 July 2016

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between 
by Hisham Matar.
Viking, 276 pp., £14.99, June 2016, 978 0 670 92333 5
Show More
Show More
... All fathers​ are unknowable to their sons but some are more mysterious than others. The Victorian stereotype was a whiskered patriarch behind a study door, the son, barred from entry, tiptoeing past. Now the door is open, and the study has been converted to a playroom, and fathers are expected to be on hand. Even so, inaccessibility remains a dominant motif: the workaholic dad, out early and back late, available only at weekends; the divorced dad, living elsewhere, available only on alternate weekends; the abusive or alcoholic dad, available but not to be trusted; the sperm donor dad, available only since 2005, when a change in the law removed his right to anonymity; the accidental dad, heedless of the consequences of his donation, unacquainted with or unaware of his offspring ...

Lamentable Thumbs

Blake Morrison: The Marvellous Barbellion, 21 June 2018

The Journal of a Disappointed Man 
by W.N.P. Barbellion.
Penguin, 394 pp., £9.99, November 2017, 978 0 241 29769 8
Show More
Show More
... Confessional writers​ stake everything on their truth-telling. ‘I have displayed myself as I was,’ Rousseau says, promising ‘a portrait in every way true to nature’, a claim echoed by W.N.P. Barbellion when he writes: ‘My journal keeps open house to every kind of happening in my soul.’ But Rousseau was guilty of certain economies and the last words of The Journal of a Disappointed Man – ‘Barbellion died on December 31’ – are a lie: when the book came out 15 months later, in March 1919, the author was still around to read the reviews and bemoan their predictability: ‘One writes that it is a remarkable book ...

Dialect does it

Blake Morrison, 5 December 1985

No Mate for the Magpie 
by Frances Molloy.
Virago, 170 pp., £7.95, April 1985, 0 86068 594 2
Show More
The Mysteries 
by Tony Harrison.
Faber, 229 pp., £9.95, August 1985, 9780571137893
Show More
Ukulele Music 
by Peter Reading.
Secker, 103 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 40986 0
Show More
Hard Lines 2 
edited by Ian Dury, Pete Townshend, Alan Bleasdale and Fanny Dubes.
Faber, 95 pp., £2.50, June 1985, 0 571 13542 0
Show More
No Holds Barred: The Raving Beauties choose new poems by women 
edited by Anna Carteret, Fanny Viner and Sue Jones-Davies.
Women’s Press, 130 pp., £2.95, June 1985, 0 7043 3963 3
Show More
Katerina Brac 
by Christopher Reid.
Faber, 47 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 571 13614 1
Show More
Skevington’s Daughter 
by Oliver Reynolds.
Faber, 88 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 571 13697 4
Show More
Rhondda Tenpenn’orth 
by Oliver Reynolds.
10 pence
Show More
Trio 4 
by Andrew Elliott, Leon McAuley and Ciaran O’Driscoll.
Blackstaff, 69 pp., £3.95, May 1985, 0 85640 333 4
Show More
Mama Dot 
by Fred D’Aguiar.
Chatto, 48 pp., £3.95, August 1985, 0 7011 2957 3
Show More
The Dread Affair: Collected Poems 
by Benjamin Zephaniah.
Arena, 112 pp., £2.95, August 1985, 9780099392507
Show More
Long Road to Nowhere 
by Amryl Johnson.
Virago, 64 pp., £2.95, July 1985, 0 86068 687 6
Show More
Mangoes and Bullets 
by John Agard.
Pluto, 64 pp., £3.50, August 1985, 0 7453 0028 6
Show More
Ragtime in Unfamiliar Bars 
by Ron Butlin.
Secker, 51 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 07810 4
Show More
True Confessions and New Clichés 
by Liz Lochhead.
Polygon, 135 pp., £3.95, July 1985, 0 904919 90 0
Show More
Works in the Inglis Tongue 
by Peter Davidson.
Three Tygers Press, 17 pp., £2.50, June 1985
Show More
Wild Places: Poems in Three Leids 
by William Neill.
Luath, 200 pp., £5, September 1985, 0 946487 11 1
Show More
Show More
... Poetry written in dialect seems to be undergoing a resurgence. Tony Harrison has made extensive use of Northern idioms. Tom Paulin has been busy raiding Ulster (and, I suspect, Scottish) dictionaries. Craig Raine has produced a manifesto, ‘Babylonish Dialects’, on dialect’s behalf. And several of the books under review here – by Scots, Welshmen and British West Indians – cannot be read without the glossaries which they thoughtfully provide ...

The Authentic Snarl

Blake Morrison: The Impudence of Tony Harrison, 30 November 2017

The Inky Digit of Defiance: Selected Prose 1966-2016 
by Tony Harrison, edited by Edith Hall.
Faber, 544 pp., £25, April 2017, 978 0 571 32503 0
Show More
Collected Poems 
by Tony Harrison.
Penguin, 464 pp., £9.99, April 2016, 978 0 241 97435 3
Show More
Show More
... If​ his English teacher hadn’t been so snootily discouraging, it’s unlikely that Tony Harrison would have gone on to write as much as he has: by my calculation, 13 plays, 11 films and twenty or more poetry collections and pamphlets, not to mention the essays and addresses assembled in Edith Hall’s edition of his selected prose. That teacher, commemorated but unnamed in the poem ‘Them & [uz]’, was so dismayed by Harrison’s ‘barbarian’ recital of Keats’s ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ in a Northern working-class accent that he called a halt after only four words:‘Can’t have our glorious heritage done to death …Poetry’s the speech of kings ...

Boxes of Tissues

Hilary Mantel, 6 March 1997

As If 
by Blake Morrison.
Granta, 245 pp., £14.99, February 1997, 1 86207 003 2
Show More
Show More
... Blake Morrison begins his account of the murder of James Bulger with a delicate diversion into the story of the Children’s Crusade. The year 1212: at Saint-Denis, a boy of 12 begins to preach. He has received word from God that it is the mission of Christian children to free the Holy Land from the infidel. He draws crowds, draws followers: boys and girls swarm from street and field ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences