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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,
                    Forgives...

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
Unbeatable
That claims each
Unrepeatable

Elect face can
Petition
From man his chance
Condition

In least light
Detectable
Glint of the
Unexpectable.

                             ('Not the Black ...


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