W(illiam) S(ydney) Graham Andrew Motion - Essay

Andrew Motion

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Graham's [poems] concentrate on themselves. The result is only rarely narcissistic; more often it's an absorbed and absorbing effort to map the boundaries of language—which for him have become more definite and restrictive as he's grown older. They're emphasised, no doubt, by his failure to secure a large attentive public; in one late poem he touchingly admits:

Speaking to you and not
Knowing if you are there
Is not too difficult.
My words are used to that.

This imprisonment within the self is all the more distressing for having followed a...

(The entire section is 455 words.)