Happy to leave work today and find not only that the bastard ice has melted (thus rendering my hilly walk home a pleasurable one in which I can let my thoughts wander, as opposed to this morning, when I shuffled like some early-to-rise madman with my eyes glued to the treacherous pavements, only occasionally lifting my head to watch the bloke in front march then wobble then flail with desperation), but also, on arrival home, to find that this week's TLS had fallen onto my doormat, and includes two of my poetry reviews, on Carrie Etter's The Tethers, and Lorraine Mariner's Furniture. The issue (no. 5575; February 5 2010) also contains, among other things, two new poems from Simon Armitage, which like all of the recent poems of his which I've spotted here and there (Rialto, Poetry London, and in the excellent online poetry journal Blackbox Manifold), seem to be something of a departure from his characteristic style. Worth checking out.
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 th