n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Can we know the dancer from the dance?
Closer than that, Gail Dendy : book review

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
  • E-ISSN: 2219-8237



This collection of poems comprises four numbered but unnamed sections, leaving it up to the reader to determine the significance of this formal structure. The first section might be thought of as dealing with perspectives onto various types of creativity, including the creation of earthly existence according to the mock-theology of the demiurge in the first poem, 'The Apprentice' (pp. 9-10). Other areas include writing ('To Write or Not To Write' [p. 11]), trapeze work ('The High-Wire Artist' [p. 12]), and ballet ('Swan Lake' [p.13]). To disturb my neat categorisation, the section also provides perspectives onto past school-acquaintances ('Linda' [p. 14]), love ('Constancy' [p. 15]), 'Vertigo' [pp. 19-20]), and, with a backward glance at Wallace Stevens, fruit ('Ruminations on the Plum' [pp. 16-17]). Part II might be read as concerning objects, poems, amethyst, skin, cats, the sun, computers and books (pp. 23-35). Part III deals with the self's relation to activity and to others (pp. 39-54), whilst Part IV concerns itself with the self's relation to a wider world (pp. 57-71).

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