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Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to editor@pnreview.co.uk

This item is taken from PN Review 144, Volume 28 Number 4, March - April 2002.

Letter from Kate McCrindle
The Trouble with Certainty

Sir:

I am mystified by David Kennedy's claim that Diana Hendry's latest collection 'exemplifies untroubled certainty' (PNR 143). Borderers, as even its title suggests, explores the trouble with certainty. Kennedy takes 'Seagulls' as an example of a poem that leaves no 'room for doubt and consequently little room for the reader'. I wonder whether he has given the poem more than a cursory reading. The substance of the 'message' that he complains of is not made explicit. The seagulls may well have something to say to us but we're too dim to get it. The title poem of the volume also describes the impossibility of knowledge. Certainty is mourned in 'Without You', scorned in 'The Lost Memories of Llamas' and, in 'Without Trees in the Shetlands', found to be perhaps a little scary. Indeed uncertainty in 'Aunt Roma' and 'The Fisherwoman becomes an essential source for the imagination. Hendry, perhaps to her own regret, does not find certainty easy. It may be comforting but the trouble is, it's deathly.

KATE McCRINDLE
Ayrshire


This item is taken from PN Review 144, Volume 28 Number 4, March - April 2002.



Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to editor@pnreview.co.uk
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