Tuesday, July 03, 2012

News at Eleven: What happens in this sonnet is very much focussed

on the last three lines. Before that we have a well-crafted scene of the endless wait at a border crossing (a thing particularly familiar to those of us who have transgressed the former Iron Curtain, where a bureaucratic automatism lingers forever among the police, but the experience is now probably just as bad on entering England). Deftly and unobtrusively integrated into the quatrain patterns, the writing remains steadily and mildly sarcastic concerning humanity forced to do nothing, marked by a scatter of little clashing verbal combinations: see-smog, static-running, returners-remittance, and the bays--into which the coaches move when it is their turn--called "ports", as if they themselves feel like journey's end after the enforced stasis.

from The Fortnightly Review: Alistair Noon and the English sonnet


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