February 19, 2011

Helena Nelson has just sent me a couple of interesting-looking pamphlets to review for Sphinx.
She also enclosed a set of reviewing guidelines, indicating some of the cliches and awkwardnesses to be avoided by reviewers – ‘edgy’, ‘promising’, ‘epiphanies’, vague comparisons with other poets, specialist technical terms like parataxis, and so on. With these strictures in mind, I have sent her the following review:

‛Epiphanies’ is by Linda Beige
(Her début, eagerly awaited).
This new voice, full of edgy rage,
Is spiritual, yet understated.

Her parataxes (bold yet free)
Make her a Geoffrey Hill with bells on.
She promises one day to be
A brainier Helena Nelson.

Both Larkinesque and Eliotic,
Yet subtly sui generis
With  her command of street-demotic,
Miss Beige is one to watch. Don’t miss!


You can read Helena’s complete list of reviewers’ clichés here:

Also – see Tim Love on the language of reviews, at:

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