The Captive Reader

I don’t read poetry.  I want to, I try to, but my success rate is embarrassingly low.  My form teacher in Grades 7 and 8 was a very serious Byron devotee, so much so that she wrote a book about him (Byron Tonight: A Poet’s Plays on the Nineteenth Century Stage by Margaret Howell).  We were even conscripted into a letter-writing campaign for the conservation of Newstead Abbey.  Being twelve years old, we had no interest or knowledge of Byron and I can’t say that the frankly odd associations from that period have ever disappeared.  The Romantics in general are not for me, I haven’t been able to stomach Tennyson since I was an overly romantic preteen, and Beat poetry leaves me cold.  There have been a few exceptions: Dorothy Parker most notably, but my prejudice against the form remains.

However, after reading Verity’s review last week, I knew…

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