The Shearsman Review

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Stephen Emmerson

Geoff Sawers Reviews 4 Collections

Stanley Cavell wrote, in a quite different context, “If philosophy is esoteric, that is not because a few men guard its knowledge, but because most men guard themselves against it.” Each of these books appears esoteric in some way at first; each requires the reader to reorient him or herself in order to read it aright and pull the heart out of it, and each rewards quite differently. There is an over-used and slightly boring trope in poetry book blurbs that a work will show us the miraculous in the mundane. Beckett could show us the mundane in the miraculous. Perhaps it is better at times to learn to see things as they really are, and a work that uproots both reader and author from their settled perspectives has at least the potential to do that.

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Date: 22 May 2015

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