Friday, 22 December 2000

From "The Forlorn Ear of Jeff Hilson"

By Stephen Thomson.

In the polarised world of contemporary poetry, the 'linguistically innovative' or (loosely) Modernist tradition is so often justified in terms of weightiness or political relevance. Though poetry that deals in 'lightness' may be much appreciated, as is the case with stretchers or the work of Tim Atkins or Mike Weller, there seems to be a problem for critical discourse in writing up this quality as something other than insubstantiality. Edmund Hardy's review of stretchers [...] makes the point by reading Hilson -- misguidedly to these ears -- through Heidegger. This approach seems to me to suggest a sort of metaphysical neediness, an embarrassment of criticism faced with the absence of a grand narrative with which to gloss (over) the errant and paratactic.

No comments: