Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Great Regulars: By italicizing the vernacular speech

of his father and the word "poet", [Tony] Harrison emphasizes the distance between the language of his profession and that of his ancestry. The dead weight of patrimony is thrown off, perhaps, in the poem's final line in which a shop name could equally be an insult hurled in response to criticism--the last word, to settle the score. But might this shout not also return us to the past, to the words of an impetuous son?

An Old Score

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: "An Old Score"


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