W(illiam) S(ydney) Graham G. S. Fraser - Essay

G. S. Fraser

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Every poem by Mr. Graham is not only very deliberately constructed but, in the musical sense, through-composed. No word is where it is merely for the sake of the "meaning" in a flat prose sense. Yet the patternings are not abstract, they reinforce deeper layers of meaning…. Mr. Graham's poems are not only about their subjects, but about themselves as attempts to embody their subjects, and therefore about the mystery of poetic language. Words like "still" and "change" in the largest [and title] poem here, The Nightfishing, work realistically and metaphysically. The sea is real and not conceptual, and yet it is also a metaphor, and yet what it is a metaphor for—the tragic struggle of the poet to make shape...

(The entire section is 504 words.)