Featured review from MPT
The Jade Ladder
Bloodaxe 20122013 Number 1 - Strange Tracks
Review by Justin Hill
Chronicles of a Lordlordland
The Jade Ladder, edited by W. N. Herbert and Yang Lian,
with Brian Holton and Qin Xiaoyu, Bloodaxe, 2012
Chairman Mao was a poet of some distinction, apparently: his collections still sell, and friends tell me they’re really very good. But despite his poetic talents, Mao doesn’t make it into The Jade Ladder, the new colle...» Read review in full» More reviews in this issue
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By Byron Leodaris
Translated by Thom Nairn & D. Zervanou
Dionysia Press, 2009, £9.50, 978-1-903171-33-2
Twenty untitled poems divided between "Outside", a group of twelve and "Beyond", the remaining eight. Leodaris's narrator, "an old poet persecuted for his verses", who perceives himself as "branded", undertakes a relentlessly anguished, self-lacerating examination of the roots of his alienation, his sense of the futility of life and of the world. Unsurprisingly, given his view that "poems happen" and that "the words I utter cut my tongue", he desires "to be done with the trickery of writing and reading". "If only", he exclaims at one point, "I could confront my extreme limits / and be totally crushed here". Quite.
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