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This review is taken from PN Review 61, Volume 14 Number 5, May - June 1988.

Grevel Lindop Tourists (Carcanet) £6.95 pb.
Val Warner, Before Lunch (Carcanet) £5.95 pb.
The best poems in Grevel Lindop's new book - including the final title poem - show an interesting tension between the lyric and narrative mode. As a lyric poet he writes with grace and conviction. He handles images with the greatest verve. In 'Russet Apples' for instance - a poem about the erotic more than the sexual-he makes the distinction between the two with assurance and grace:


and feel when I kiss you how
within the mouth's dark space
there is no I or you
but only a fragrance of endless
orchards


This sort of balance is to be found in several of the poems. 'My Grandmother's Opal' - with the exception of the last stanza - and 'Snow' are two examples. They are immensely convincing and at times, too, just that fraction off-centre which persuades you of their humanity and idiosyncrasy. This is an impressive aspect of the book: a lyric voice that handles images well, that distinguishes - as few poets do - the erotic from the sexual, that moves language in and out of metaphor with skill and grace. This voice draws you in. It charms you with apples and weather and affections. It reminds you of an ordered and structured world. It is somewhat the voice of a happy spirit, with, maybe, a measure of regret and an interesting intimation of waste.

Then there is a sort of fracture. And this is where ...


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