PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Thomas Kinsella in conversation Jeffrey Wainwright comes to grips with St Chad Hsien Min Toh gives us a Korean perspective Iain Bamforth on Lou and Fritz: Sensible Shoes meets Starstruck Judith Bishop on Love and Self-Understanding in an Algorythmic Age

This review is taken from PN Review 239, Volume 44 Number 3, January - February 2018.

Cover of Lithos
Ian Pople‘I am innocent'

Anthony Barnett, Lithos (Allardyce Book) £15.00
Anthony Barnett’s imprint Allardyce Barnett was instrumental for the publication and republication of a number of important poets of the so-called Cambridge School in the eighties. He published Collecteds from Andrew Crozier, Douglas Oliver, and the main figure, J.H. Prynne. Barnett also published a collected Veronica Forrest-Thomson. These important books are presented in lovely, understated editions with plain printing and pale yellow ochre dust jackets. Barnett has carried on that imprint with editions of his own delicate poems.

Anthony Barnett’s poetry often seems to originate from the ‘empirical’ Barnett. In ‘I am Innocent’, for example, the title is repeated in the first line, and then the poem continues as follows:

I remember that small thing, that and not that. That particular
    bowl of pasta for that lunch at that hotel

And so I go over things, over and over things
And I do not do what I should do
And the looking after
 I sit waiting waiting
Here but never here
Here but not here

This layering of introspection feels authentic here, although the language is folded with a line such as ‘And the looking after’. Barnett still proceeds as a ‘language’ poet in this poem but his concentration on the signifier rather than the signified is steeped in an introspection which seems to link the two.

And elsewhere in the book, the poems are positively domestic, as in the short prose poem ‘To the Woods’:

Your ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image