Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Great Regulars: [Carol] Rumens's work often recalls the cadences

and phrasing of Larkin--whom she called "the great musician of his generation"--but she also shares his ambivalence about mythography. In his poem "An Arundel Tomb", for instance, "only an attitude remains" of the earl and countess: in the absence of any real historical understanding, we construct their meaning for ourselves. For Rumens, too, "what remains is a view", haunted by what we think we understand but is hidden forever from those who cannot remember the wooing call of the "patriotic gull".

Above Cuckmere Haven

from Carol Rumens: The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: "Above Cuckmere Haven"


Fruition, despite its light, jaunty, dactylic rhythms, its inventive word play, its warm physicality and emotional knife-throwing, reveals a more complex dimension. Even if love involves tedium, its destruction will certainly not be bloodless. The question is: will the conjectured dark "fruition" be denied or deferred? The poem's very structure may suggest a cycle of repulsion and attraction that's inescapable.

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: Fruition by Rhian Edwards


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