Academic journal article Hollins Critic

The Incomplete Poems

Academic journal article Hollins Critic

The Incomplete Poems

Article excerpt

The Incomplete Poems. By David Howard. Lyttelton Harbour, New Zealand: Cold Hub Press, 2011. NZ$49.95

Perhaps to be incomplete is to be human. Whether incompleteness leads to poetry I don't know, but it certainly has for David Howard whose work is incomplete in the sense that the world he sees is "boxed in," so bleak.

    enduring the only clearing
   where he can measure
   his shadow against
   the length of the word 'nobody.' 

Why is this New Zealand poet so filled with gloom? Even love seems to lead to a silence that is not fulfillment but a "dying" that is "the silence after / I hold you." Yet love and sex are frequent subjects of this poet even though the poet can write "love, / it comes to nothing" and even write line after line with seemingly no logical meaning. …

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