Wednesday, 19 June 2013

How to end a poem?

Conventional wisdom would have it that practitioners of contemporary verse should end their poems in such a way that their writing opens out beyond the piece itself. In other words, the poem should finish by inviting its reader to take an onward journey.

In this context, we often forget that circular endings, ones that tie up loose ends and bring strands together, ones that satisfy in their neat perfection, are equally valid and can also surprise. They aren't necessarily in any way less ambitious for holding the reader within the poem. However, they are out of fashion.

I was consequently delighted to find that Frank Wood is adept at such endings. My review of his pamphlet, Racing the Stable Clock, is now up here at Sphinx, alongside pieces on the same collection by Gina Wilson and Rob A. Mackenzie. The latter's opinions very much coincide with mine, and we even chose similar quotes to illustrate our points!

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