Wednesday 17 July 2013

In The Beginning

In the face of all the talk about "late style," Deryn Rees-Jones looks for the identifying signatures of a poet's "early style":
If it is true that first books set the psychic and aesthetic blue print of the work to come, presenting a cluster of ideas and ways of thinking and feeling that will get endlessly worked through during a poet’s life, first books are also concentrations which hold within them all the pitfalls of style and the dangers of self-parody the poet might then meet in middle style of the third or fourth book. Perhaps most of all, though, the intrinsic nature of the first volume, like youth, is its refusal of its own mortality, its ability to connect a poetic past forwards into the unbounded future. In other words, a first book sets its store towards posterity while cheerfully refusing to imagine what such posterity must inevitably mean. 

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