Magazine article The Spectator

P. J. Kavanagh

Magazine article The Spectator

P. J. Kavanagh

Article excerpt

Journals, honest self-examinations day by day, observations of internal and external weathers, can be fascinating. Philip Toynbee's two, Part of a Journey and End of a Journey, are prime examples. So is Jeremy Hooker's Welsh Journal (Seren, 7.95) in which he bravely, even dourly, questions his life as a poet, as an academic and as an Englishman who, despite himself, finds himself uneasy in Wales: both landscapes, of Wales and of his own interior searchings, keep one reading. (I notice, late, this was published in 2001; a reminder that as time passes it passes progressively quickly.)

Definitely of this year is the belated Collected Poems of Pearse Hutchinson by Gallery Books (10) whose list and elegance of production become wider and more distinguished year by year. Dubliner Hutchinson is pan-European, dips in and out of languages like a dolphin, with a dophin's delight, fierce in his protectiveness of the undervalued (people, as well as threatened languages); his individual note is recognised from the first line, and is unique. …

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