Douglas Dunn (review date December 1973)
SOURCE: "The Specked Hill, The Plover's Shore," in Encounter, Vol. XLI, No. 6, December, 1973, pp. 70-76.
[In the following excerpt, Dunn identifies the consequences of violence as the principal theme of Gradual Wars, noting the effect of the collection's artificial tone on its themes.]
Seamus Deane avoids superficial negations [in Gradual Wars], either in favour of the kind of specifics Simmons finds "boring"—
The unemployment in our bones
Erupting on our hands in stones
or, more rewardingly, in favour of complex ironies and ambiguities. He frequently toys...
(The entire section is 451 words.)