All the Poems of Muriel Spark by Muriel Spark

By Muriel Spark

Within the seventy-three poems accrued right here Muriel Spark works in open types in addition to villanelles, rondels, epigrams, or even the journey de strength of a twenty-one web page ballad. She additionally indicates herself a grasp of unforgettable brief poems. earlier than reaching repute as a novelist (Memento Mori, The major of omit Jean Brodie), Muriel Spark was once already an acclaimed poet. The "power and control" of her poetry, as Publishers Weekly remarked, "is nearly startling." With the energy and wit ordinary of all her paintings, Dame Muriel hasn't ever stopped writing poems, which often look within the New Yorker. as with every her creations, the poems convey Spark to be "astonishingly proficient and really inimitable" (The San Francisco Chronicle).

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When ‘Reflections on Having Left a Place of Retirement’ appeared in the Monthly Magazine in 1795, he added, ‘A Poem which affects not to be Poetry’. Whilst raising many questions, this alerts us to Coleridge’s awareness of an audience, and to his strong sense that there is such a thing as poetry. What we are to make of a poem that denies its own status is the kind of conundrum we face with so many of the Lyrical Ballads; at this point in his career, part of Coleridge’s work is aimed at moving away from that which did so obviously ‘affect to be Poetry’, moving towards the blank verse of his conversation poems.

Leonard’s fears are confirmed, and he realises that the unmarked grave that had aroused his suspicions is that of his brother. But the poem has an added darkness, in that even Leonard’s briefly uttered recognition of the grave – ‘“My brother”’ – is not heard by the Priest, and the two men part. Not only does the poem explore, in its deeply affecting way, the sense of loss and, again, the loss of identity, for in losing James Leonard has lost part of himself (‘they were such darlings of each other’); the poem also explores the great chasm between the two protagonists (spelt out in symbolic terms early in the poem, ‘that dark cleft’, the ‘chasm’, is not as it was, as Leonard rightly conjectures).

Coleridge 35 The sense of despair is put more forcefully two stanzas earlier: ‘And what’, I said, ‘though Blasphemy’s loud scream With that sweet music of deliverance strove! Though all the fierce and drunken passions wove A dance more wild than e’er was maniac’s dream! The vocabulary here is that of many familiar poems: the wild dance appears as an image of poetry in ‘Kubla Khan’, in ‘The Aeolian Harp’, in ‘The Ancient Mariner’. But such madness, as Wordsworth realised in a very different context, easily leads to the desire to escape all such extremes.

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