I read a few good books when I was away on holiday, all of which I’d recommend. Two Salt books, Anne Berkeley’s The Men From Praga ( you can read a perceptive review of it at Sheenagh Pugh’s site) and Luke Kennard’s The Migraine Hotel. I have a few things to say about both of these books, but have no time today. Later...
I also read Ted Hughes’s New Selected Poems 1957-1994. I was familiar with the poems everyone is familiar with from school and a few others, but I’d never sat down and read Hughes at length since. I’m now glad I did. There are some boring poems in this book (at 330 odd pages, that's no surprise), but also many startling ones. What impressed me was his immense range. It’s far from being all close observation of salmon, pike and crows. How’s this from the opening of an early poem, Egg-Head:
.....A leaf’s otherness,
The whaled monstered sea-bottom, eagled peaks
And stars that hang over hurtling endlessness,
.....With manslaughtering shocks
.....Are let in on his sense.
I’ll write more about this stuff in due course too.