Ian Hamilton: Collected Poems

Ian Hamilton, Alan Jenkins (ed.)

Ian Hamilton: Collected Poems

Edited by Alan Jenkins, this authoritative "Collected Poems" contains all of the poetry that Ian Hamilton chose to publish, together with a small number of uncollected and unpublished poems; it also includes an introduction and helpful apparatus. 4.4 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
Ian Hamilton: Collected Poems

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Poetry
Format Hardback
Pages 160
RRP £14.99
Date of Publication May 2009
ISBN 978-0571227365
Publisher Faber & Faber
 

Edited by Alan Jenkins, this authoritative "Collected Poems" contains all of the poetry that Ian Hamilton chose to publish, together with a small number of uncollected and unpublished poems; it also includes an introduction and helpful apparatus.

Reviews

The Daily Telegraph

Jeremy Noel-Tod

...Collected Poems takes its place in a 20th-century tradition of Symbolism, from Ezra Pound’s imagism to the post-Holocaust poetry of Paul Celan. Alan Jenkins’s considered and illuminating edition ought to keep that place secure, though it also reminds us why it is slightly surprising. Like Philip Larkin, whose cautious example he admired, Hamilton did not keep avant-garde company. One unpublished piece here, “Work in Progress”, is withering about an encounter with an American poet (“Irv”) who writes “Two words a line, at most”. Yet, also like Larkin, Hamilton understood that modern feelings required modern measures.

01/06/2009

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Times Literary Supplement

Christopher Reid

[Jenkins] adds to the body of work that Hamilton allowed to be published a small number of poems, both early and late, which the poet himself might have winced to see in print, but which neither embarrass nor diminish the central achievement. Jenkins’s notes are lucid, never over-explanatory or intrusive, and not afraid to seem tentative when that is appropriate.

03/06/2009

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The Guardian

Blake Morrison

There's no lost masterpiece here. But some of the stuff Jenkins has retrieved is fascinating: "Untranslatable", for example, which acknowledges the allure of obscurity in poetry ("it's what I can't grasp that draws me back"); and "Ties", a poem of exactly that kind, which ends: "Inside the house / He's playing genealogies again, / The usual curse / His, yours, theirs, everyone's. And hers." Of course it's disappointing not to have more but also, in another respect reassuring: Ian Hamilton was indeed his own best critic.

20/06/2009

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The Sunday Times

Sean O'Brien

The poems are thematically constrained — dramatic lyrics of love, death and madness, compressed to the point of secrecy... The weaker pieces seem deliberately oblique, but the best of the early work, such as Pretending Not to Sleep, uses a strong ear to bind together narrative and a sense of helpless dismay... Hearteningly, some of the later work is his very best.

19/07/2009

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