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Showing posts from June, 2021

Review - “By Tiny Twisting Ways” by Ian Davidson

Steve Spence “By Tiny Twisting Ways” by Ian Davidson, pub. Aquifer. 67pp £10.00 Ian Davidson’s new collection is a meditation on the relationship between language, landscape and the human subject. His use mainly of seven syllable lines with stanzas of three or four lines, create an unusual rhythmic pattern and there’s a minimalist aspect which has a very physical yet lyric feel. I’m reminded at times of the poetry of Peter Larkin, a very different poet to Davidson, but one who also deals with ‘difficulty’ around the subject of landscape, language and a non-traditional approach. Here we have an extract from the long opening poem Lumps and Bumps , a poem which also touches on the subject of cancer and a successful recovery from the illness, a central motif in the collection:             1.             At sea all the broad beach a           variegated sky’s final           call to prayers stretched as the whale’s           bones             long in the sand and massi

Review - “Remix Theory” by Nick Totton

Steve Spence “Remix Theory” by Nick Totton, pub. Oystercatcher, 16pp. I can remember hearing somewhere that John Milton set out to read ‘everything that had ever been written’ prior to commencing work on Paradise Lost . Nick Totton’s remix theory is operating in a world where there is so much information available that your head is likely to explode with the diversity of material and the potential for endless interpretation. ‘All that noise as of the sea / it would drive you mad if you truly listened,’ as somebody else once said. Totton mixes the language of philosophy with that of brain science, with cultural theory, with Shakespeare and with a host of other approaches in a manner which is both playful and probing even though the end result might be that although we think we know a lot about a lot of things perhaps we don’t know as much as we thought we did. That, or ‘information overload’ gets your head into a spin. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this short ‘montage ’ although it’s