This issue brings you a remarkable range of poems which run from responses to the past through all the stages of our lives – childhood, early romance, aging – to conclude with visionary moments and with the political context of our lives. Below are a few poems which represent the range. There are many more in the issue itself, by Michael Longley, Philip Gross, Roddy Lumsden, Matthew Caley, Chrissie Gittins, Caroline Natzler and many others. Douglas Hurd – now Lord Hurd – writes on Larkin, Glyn Maxwell on the relationship of his poetry with Hardy’s, Kathryn Gray on current poetry in Wales. Other articles focus on our poetry in relation to what comes to it from outside – Michael Symmons Roberts on research, Moniza Alvi on subject matter, David Boll on the past of our own poetry, Allen Prowle on translating from other languages. Also reviews of 14 collections or pamphlets of new poems.
|Does subject matter matter?
||Moniza Alvi asks how far the quality of a poem is affected by its subject. Moniza Alvi Does the subject matter of poetry matter? A complicated question, with both yes and no, in some guises, offering themselves as acceptable answers. For the subject mattering, Wilfred Owen would be an obvious example. His early poetry, with…
|The sense of the past
||David Boll takes up the challenge of The New Imagination In The New Imagination in Magma 42, Laurie Smith argues for a poetry of strong feeling, as why should he not. But in the process he says the past 150 years of British poetry represent a “failure of the British poetic imagination”, resulting from the…
||Magma seeks to bring you the unexpected, partly by a different person editing each issue, either one of ourselves or an occasional guest editor. You might think this means simply the passive coincidence of differing tastes. Not a bit of it. The editors field their choice to our Board, mostly practising poets, for discussion. The…
|Collaged from cut pieces of the world
||Clare Pollard reviews Chris McCabe’s Zeppelins (Salt £12.99), Jacqueline Saphra’s Rock’n’Roll Mamma (Flarestack £3.50) and Mark Waldron’s The Brand New Dark (Salt £12.99) In Mark Waldron’s striking poem Welcome to Disneyworld, a Mickey-Mouse impersonator is trapped in his suit with an itch, unable to scratch it with his “fat, white fingers” and breathing in the…