n English in Africa - Collecting darkness, scattering light : the poetry and presence of Don Maclennan : review article

Volume 43, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



Don Maclennan, who died in 2009, has been extraordinarily well-served in the labours of those who loved and admired him and have now brought these two books before the public they deserve. gathers together the 21 published volumes, with a few additions and subtractions of little consequence to the project of the book, which aims at a summary statement rather than an archival compendium. Besides, Maclennan was a poet of immediacies, so he would prefer a poem to be abroad in the world than festering in a drawer; this means that he brought his poems to readiness and completion, and before a public, without haste but with the promptitude of a good correspondent or bookkeeper. Certainly this is the evidence of the rate and tidiness of his later books. His reckonings ( is the title of a 1983 volume) are swift and exact, and both inwardly and outwardly leave little in the way of an untidy horde of till-slips, for either reader or editor. So, at any rate, is the impression that Wylie gives of his editorial burden, and, for now at any rate, this is more than sufficient.

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