COLLECTED AND NEW POEMS by William Oxley
Pub; Rockingham Press ISBN 978-1-904851-554
A poets “collected” edition is often a wonderful way to analyse the strengths, and occasional weaknesses of a poet, more often than not the edition will force a reappraisal and allow a reading in context of their past work. This collection from William Oxley does just that, and in a way that allows the reader to appreciated the fine control Oxley has over line and form. His poetry is fluid and often challenging, his observations and images sharp and incisive.
This edition brings together Oxley’s previous collections from 1967 to the present day and as such gives the reader a picture of the poet developing and changing over time. In an interesting twist the collection also shows Oxley as a very modern poet using traditional methods in new ways. The claim is made for the philosophical content but I would say that many of his poems are self referential and have meta-poetic qualities which are far more interesting.
Jim Bennett, Poetry Kit