Michael Longley

Start Free Trial

Alan Brownjohn

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

No Continuing City shows the stubborn, interesting persistence of formal and intricate patterning in verse. Michael Longley, on this showing, is a deeply fastidious craftsman, working out his mildly metaphysical plots over complex, careful stanza grids, arriving at his point through minute convolutions of syntax. The scene is the Northern Irish (and Scottish) landscape, the themes small-scale, with nothing forced or pretentious in the medium or the message. It's a quiet and honourable first book rather than an exciting one; its weaknesses are in precisely that formal neatness, which leads poems on a bit automatically to unremarkable conclusions, its strengths in some moments of quirky, original vision…. (p. 832)

Alan Brownjohn, "Rival Claims," in New Statesman (© 1969 The Statesman & Nation Publishing Co. Ltd.), Vol. 78, No. 2021, December 5, 1969, pp. 830, 832.∗

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access



The Times Literary Supplement