Featured review from MPT

Horses in Boiling Blood

By Guillaume Apollinaire

Translated by Barry MacSweeney

Equipage, 2005
Series 3 No. 3 - Metamorphoses

Review by Paul Batchelor

Morphic Cubism: The Strange Case of Gwillam Mad MacSweeney

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In a winning but eccentric overestimation, Tristan Tzara praised Apollinaire for his use of ‘the exact, real, totally unpromiscuous nudity of the word which is only itself, intended in its round force, with no background of allusions, or, rather, with none of the seductions of sub...

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A History of Clouds: 99 Meditations

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A History of Clouds: 99 Meditations

By Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Translated by Martin Chalmers and Esther Kinsky

Seagull Books, 2010

This more than readable, more than highly enjoyable volume – tall and thin like a city building – is a book of conversations disguised as poems, and poems disguised as philosophy. The ninth part of the eponymous poem includes a moment of intense lightness of being that seems to sum up the philosophy of the whole book: all of a sudden the air is full of electric spirits, and we rush out of our houses, prancing in the reeling brightness of our dealings, while up there the artists of the sky, at last awake after long apathy, deliver their selfless performance. My favourite poem – An Earth-Coloured Ditty – is a comment by the poet on the surprising dearth of poems about potatoes: “could it be that it’s too hot for poets, the potato?” This book makes me want find as many potato poems as possible, regardless, and – as with the best poetry – it makes me want to write my own.

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