Sunday, 16 September 2012

An exalted elsewhere

From John Greening's review of Acapulco in the TLS:

'There is often a single poem early in a collection that helps the reader find their way. In Acapulco by Nicholas Murray, it is "Bedroom", about a painting by Vilhelm Hammershoi: "How you anticipate/our love of the minimal...", it begins, concluding a few lines later:

          Your silence grows in us,
          expands like rising dough,
          until we reach the street
          and find ourselves, altered
          in an exalted elsewhere.

... in Murray's strongest work the effect is exactly as described in "Bedroom". The silence can be that of "Honfleur" - "amongst smiling gourmands/who do not know our secret"; the more spiritual regions of "Icon", the opening poem; or raw and malevolent - most vividly in a piece about an owl ("That cold accusing look!") accidentally smoked from its nest. "Owl" is Murray at full stretch.

(The full review can be read in the TLS of September 14th)