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Monday, 30 March 2009

Third Wish Wasted

I've been reading Roddy Lumsden's fifth collection, Third Wish Wasted, which was launched on Friday. It's seriously good. Or rather, playfully good. Or both. Is there a better mainstream poet of his British generation, currently practicing now? Many might think so, I am not so sure. This new book is so full of word games, and new forms (charismatics, for instance), and delights for the mind and ear.

The poems are rich, sonorous, and always musical - though music varies, and so do these poems. Music, of course, is Lumsden's favoured realm - as is love, from sour to sweet - and how song and love merge well. This isn't a review, just a tip of the hat. Anyone reading Lumsden's work is likely to learn a few tricks of the trade. His growing oeuvre is increasingly exciting. I'd say he was a poet's poet, but his work is popular with more than just poets. Meanwhile, a whole younger generation of London-area poets has been tutored by him, and made better in the process.

By the way, I was astonished to read that Poetry had published 13 (!) of these poems previously - he also seems to be one of the UK poets most making headway in America. Others may claim to be the British Muldoon, but if Lumsden keeps going like this, he may, instead, be the heir to that ludic mantle.
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