n English in Africa - Collecting darkness, scattering light : the poetry and presence of Don Maclennan : review article
|Article Title||Collecting darkness, scattering light : the poetry and presence of Don Maclennan : review article|
|© Publisher:||Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA)|
|Journal||English in Africa|
|Affiliations||1 University of Cape Town|
|Publication Date||Jan 2016|
|Pages||131 - 147|
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. The Collected Poems 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 (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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