Michael Longley John Mole - Essay

John Mole

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Michael Longley is a patient, properly ambitious poet who has worked hard to achieve a distinctive style without appearing to question his deep trust in the resources of formality and pattern. His early poems are sometimes rather strenuous exercises in craftsmanship, models of determination which become exhausted by their refusal to stop until an argument has been pressed home; but the monotony of their attentuated structures is at the same time evidence of an admirable seriousness, a readiness to demonstrate the importance of apprenticeship rather than a bid to catch the eye too easily and too soon.

In the introduction to his 1968 pamphlet Secret Marriages,… Longley was already taking an...

(The entire section is 1048 words.)