Skip to main content

Maura Dooley's Life Under Water

Just a quick post to point anyone interested towards this week's TLS, March 20 2009 (No 5529), which includes my review of Maura Dooley's T.S. Eliot shortlisted Bloodaxe collection, Life Under Water.

Comments

Sheila said…
This week's TLS hasn't arrived but on the strength of your recommendation I looked up Maura Dooley and listened to her read two of her poems, found an interview and ordered a copy of Life Under Water. Thanks for the lead. I look forward to your review.
Ben Wilkinson said…
Hi Mairi - welcome to the Wasteland. Just popped across to your secret poems in the TLS blog; looks interesting and I'll be sure to visit again.

But I hope I haven't mislead you re Life Under Water: I do happen to think it's a pretty good collection in parts, but my review isn't entirely praising, and so I wasn't recommending the book as such. But I do hope you enjoy it, and would perhaps suggest Dooley's Sound Barrier: Poems 1982-2002 as a good selection of her poetry to date.
Anonymous said…
Hi Mairi

I wouldn't worry - Life under Water is a brilliant collection of poems and you will be glad you bought it
Sheila said…
The TLS arrived this afternoon. I'm not sure I would have rushed off and bought Dooley's book if I'd just read the review but your comments here made me look her up and I was taken by her reading of a couple of her pieces. So I'm not sorry I ordered it. Your remark about expanding one's thematic range was particuarly interesting to me. That's sort of the point of my blog, diregarding the conceit about the secret poems. Taking departure points from whatever catches my eye in the TLS forces me to deal with things I might not have chosen if I was just waiting around for inspiration to strike. I'm glad I came across both your blog and your work.
Ben Wilkinson said…
Glad to hear it Mairi. As I say, I do think it's a good collection in many respects, and I hope this comes across in the review; I guess what I'm saying is that I don't quite like it enough to want to try and persuade someone to buy it. But then that's only my own little opinion.

Many thanks for your comments, anyhow; I do hope you'll pop back to my scruffy corner of the net again sometime, should you be so inclined. Happy reading.
Sheila said…
Just to say I took a phrase from your review for one of my poems and aded a link to your site. Maybe you already know that. Maybe the blog gods tell you thinks like that.

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry in Motion

POETRY IN MOTION
Why one Reds supporter is committing his love for Liverpool FC to verse


Liverpool FC and poetry have a lot of previous – from John Toshack’s Gosh It’s Tosh collection in the late 70s, to the verse of Dave Kirby and Peter Etherington in the fanzine Red All Over the Land, to the lines written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, a University of Liverpool graduate, in the aftermath of 2012’s Hillsborough findings. Now there’s Ben Wilkinson, Reds fan and book critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, who’s compiling a series of poems commemorating the club’s legends. “Football is part of the fabric of life, and anything that’s important to people finds its way into poetry,” he says. “Wilfred Owen’s poem 'Disabled' describes a soldier who loses the use of his legs, meaning he can never play football again. Philip Larkin’s 'MCMXIV' compares boys queuing to join the army to fans outside Villa Park. These poems have stood the test of time because t…

Way More Than Luck: 27.2.18 - the launch

Louis MacNeice

‘World is crazier and more of it than we think, incorrigibly plural’. Even if you’re not that well-versed in modern British and Irish poetry, chances are you’ll still know ‘Snow’, or a line or two from the poem will seem naggingly familiar. While still in his twenties, Louis MacNeice wrote it in 1935, and since then, it’s been a favourite with readers, writers and editors, cropping up in every kind of poetry anthology.

Weird, then, that MacNeice’s work has often been seen as a footnote to that of his illustrious pal W.H. Auden, when he’s so clearly a hugely original poet in his own right. And when, among more recent generations, the likes of Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Don Paterson and Conor O’Callaghan have all cited him as a major influence in their own writing. It’s not like ‘Snow’ was a one hit wonder, either. Despite some of the less exciting – and often lengthy – stuff he wrote in the early 50s, MacNeice only got better, perfecting his moving, atmospheric and pow…