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Wading Through … Or Not


On the train into Edinburgh for Polly Clark‘s reading the other night, I finally started to read Sean O’Brien‘s Forward and TS Eliot prize-winning collection The Drowned Book. Now, I might be missing something–I must be missing something, if the judges of both prizes aren’t–but I simply couldn’t get into it. It’s not that it’s what one might call difficult poetry, it’s just that I found it … well … dull. Granted I’ve only read the first three or four poems, so maybe there’s something more later in the book, but it would go against all the principles of constructing a collection to put your least interesting poems at the front.

Has anybody else read The Drowned Book? Do you find it dull? If you don’t, I’m willing to be persuaded. I don’t intend to abandon it quite yet, but there was little or nothing in those opening poems that would naturally draw me back, especially when I’m having fun reading Milton along with Rob Mackenzie, Jane Holland and others. If you’re a Drowned Book fan, what is it about the poems that grabs you or draws you in?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Rob permalink
    06/03/2008 01:51

    Jane H loved it and wrote a review of it on her Raw Light blog. I like some poems in it a lot, but felt indifferent to others. I liked the collection much better on the second read than the first.

    But I need to go to sleep… I’ll try to return to this.

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