The Shearsman Review

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Ian Brinton

Ian Brinton reviews R.F. Langley

On 12 February 2011 at the Memorial service for Roger Langley being held in Bramfield Church, Suffolk, Tom Lowenstein recalled that ‘While the peaceful Mrs Coke lay beyond in the chancel, all the speakers in their different ways brought us face to face with Roger, often hilariously, always with gratitude, also sadly.’ That sense of the ‘face to face’ is central to Langley’s poetry and it evokes what he admired about Thomas Nagel’s The View from Nowhere (O.U.P. 1986) with its focus upon both looking at the world and living in it. 

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Date: 26 November 2015

John James - Songs In Midwinter For Franco

John James’s last three volumes have been haunted by ghosts and we are aware of the poet being ‘touched by their sacred lineage’ (‘Thoughts Beyond the Stricken City Long After René Char’). …… The third of these volumes, the one with which I am immediately concerned here, was written at La Manière in the South-West of France and it is one of the most moving sequences of poems, or songs, that I have read for as long as I can recall.
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Date: 6 August 2014

Peter Hughes: Allotment Architecture

Allotment Architecture, recently published by Reality Street, contains five separate sequences, ‘Lynn Deeps’, ‘Behoven’, ‘Site Guide’, ‘18’ and ‘Berlioz’. It is the fifteen pieces of ‘Site Guide’ that I wish to hold in focus here. Published in 2011 by The Arthur Shilling Press this group of poems had a subtitle, ‘(many days out in england & wales)’ but when the sequence was included in this new collection this was replaced by an epigraph, ‘for Heine, and the Caravan Club’.

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Date: 15 March 2014

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