n English in Africa - Dog Latin, Norman Morrissey : book review

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



I have only seen one earlier collection of Morrissey's - his slim volume (1999). Therein he revealed his enjoyment and interest in . Even the two longer poems in that volume were -like, being brief self-contained stanzas grouped under a single title. His new volume, , consists of sixty short poems primarily concerned with man and nature. A number of these are -like in their brevity ("Edgar on Inclusive Fitness," "Setting Ratbane," "Adam Again"), although they too often do not amount to more than post-it like notes. ("This habit / of holding habits to the wind / -me" is the sum total of the poem "Adam Again.") The epigraph to the whole collection is the final stanza of Robert Frost's "The Need of Being Versed in Country Things," which suggests both Morrissey's interest in the apparently unconsidered minutiae of natural objects and beings, and, it would seem, an admiration of Frost's deceptively plain, unmannered style.

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