Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Great Regulars: The poem reveals [George] Barker at his

elegiac best. The reference to wild swans may be a nod to Yeats's affection for Coole Park and the Usk may remind us of Henry Vaughan's deep love for his native Welsh mountains. But the weakening "A" rhyme of the ABAB stanzas gradually loosens the attachment to place. These are others' homes and, as [Paul] Potts reminds us, Barker was a vagrant: "the only place where he is a fixture is in the poetry of this language".


from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: "Song"


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