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Upstaging

Paul Driver, 19 August 1993

Shining Brow 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 86 pp., £5.99, February 1993, 0 571 16789 6
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... activity; and his most recent full-length opera, Gawain, has an ambitious verse libretto by David Harsent. Ted Hughes once wrote a libretto for Gordon Crosse. The Story of Vasco, whose subject-matter involves crows, is an interesting opera by a composer who has now, regrettably, stopped composing. The poet John Birtwhistle supplied ...

Venisti tandem

Denis Donoghue, 7 February 1985

Selected Poems 
by Tony Harrison.
Viking, 204 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 670 80040 6
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Palladas: Poems 
by Tony Harrison.
Anvil, 47 pp., £2.95, October 1984, 9780856461279
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Men and Women 
by Frederick Seidel.
Chatto, 70 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 0 7011 2868 2
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Dangerous play: Poems 1974-1984 
by Andrew Motion.
Salamander, 110 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 907540 56 2
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Mister Punch 
by David Harsent.
Oxford, 70 pp., £4.50, October 1984, 0 19 211966 4
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An Umbrella from Piccadilly 
by Jaroslav Seifert and Ewald Osers.
London Magazine Editions, 80 pp., £5, November 1984, 0 904388 75 1
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... eyes distinctly narrowed to blue expressionless flecks by a sudden onrush of light. Mister Punch, David Harsent’s first collection since Dreams of the Dead (1977), strikes me as a transitional book. The practice of ascribing a multitude of experiences to one figure has been vigorously maintained, especially by John Berryman in Dream Songs, though in ...

You Muddy Fools

Dan Jacobson: In the months before his death Ian Hamilton talked about himself to Dan Jacobson, 14 January 2002

... other people became stalwarts of a kind, didn’t they? Hugo Williams? Oh, they came in. David Harsent was another.Peter Dale? I think we published some of his poems. He never became quite one of the gang. There was a certain amount of indecision about him then. David Harsent appeared from nowhere. I ...

The Price

Dan Jacobson: The concluding part of Dan Jacobson’s interview with Ian Hamilton, 21 February 2002

... had enough younger people whom I admired, and still had my old chums from the Review, Colin, Hugo, David Harsent; they just carried over and became part of this larger thing.Did you get any help from the eminenti who’d tried to float a magazine? None at all. I didn’t really know them. And didn’t admire them, particularly. There was a whole social ...

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