PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Colm Toibin on Thom Gunn's Letters Allice Hiller and Sasha Dugdale in conversation David Herman on the life of Edward W. Said Jena Schmitt on Hope Mirrlees Brian Morton: Now the Trees
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This review is taken from PN Review 137, Volume 27 Number 3, January - February 2001.

ODD FISHES KIT WRIGHT, Hoping It Might Be So (Leviathan)

Kit Wright is a prolific writer of poetry for children, but this is his first 'grown-up' collection for over ten years. His other volumes are all out of print, so the publication of Hoping It Might Be So (Poems 1974-2000) comes not a moment too soon for fans of his work, of whom there ought to be many. This book includes poems from Wright's previous collections, as well as a substantial amount of new work.

Wright's technical prowess is evident throughout this collection. The poem 'George Herbert's Other Self in Africa' pays homage to the master of ambitious metrical forms, and Wright does Herbert proud:

Thinking another way
            To tilt the prism,
I vowed to turn to light
            My tenebrism
            And serve not night
                    But day.

Surely, I cried, the sieves
            Of love shake slow
But even. Love subsists
            Though pressed most low:
            As it exists,

Even when he isn't using Herbert as a model, Wright is a master of prosody. He takes risks with short, terse lines and long, galloping ones, and appears to move effortlessly from one style -

Not the black rap
That claims each

Elect face can
From man his chance

In least light
Glint of the

                             ('Not the Black ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image