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This review is taken from PN Review 207, Volume 39 Number 1, September - October 2012.

As the Crow Flies An Andrew Crozier Reader, edited with an introduction by Ian Brinton (Carcanet) £18.95

Emerging in the early sixties as a brilliant poetic prodigy of Cambridge, a student of Charles Olson, sponsored by J.H. Prynne, Andrew Crozier was soon the dynamic young editor of The Wivenhoe Park Review and The English Intelligencer, one of a constellation of talented poets who were attempting to give birth to a new poetry taking many of its bearings from the poets of Donald Allen's The New American Poetry.

Precociously articulate from the beginning, Crozier's poetry began abruptly, with a sense of vocation; his early work is assured and direct in tone as he writes about student-age experiences - love frustrations, growing pains, relations with parents and family, holiday jobs and uncertain projected futures - with such conviction, assurance and seriousness of intent that these poems are still compelling today. In the beautifully titled Loved Litter of Time Spent he often seems to be trying out previous modernist gambits - 'Drill Poem' (artisan-worker refigured as keen DIYer), 'Fan Heater' (a modern domestic object), O'Hara's sense of a subject moving in time and space (works well for train journeys, a friendly poem about fellow Cambridge poet, John James, 'in an elegant serge implying "Groove on your / self Baby"'), and Olson's Gloucester, in fine poems mingling Black Mountain and New York influences in English settings, such as 'What Spokes, and to What Hub?' and 'There are Names'.

One of his watchwords in this period is 'respect': respect for the older poets and the soft breeze ...


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