Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Great Regulars: The title of this week's poem,

Peter McDonald's "The Overcoat" inevitably recalls Gogol's eponymous short story in which a poor, industrious clerk is destroyed by the violence and bureaucracy of 19th-century St Petersburg. There's a tangible chill in the weather and the politics of both poem and story, and both have a ghost, but I'm reminded less of Gogol than of Philip Larkin in "The Whitsun Weddings". McDonald's poem, too, describes, and almost is, a train journey. In unhurried, expansive stanzas, a solitary narrator observes the passengers' comings and goings. This narrative, however, enfolds a further story, told through recollections of a particular individual, whom I take to be the speaker's father.

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: The Overcoat by Peter McDonald


No comments :