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This review is taken from PN Review 11, Volume 6 Number 3, January - February 1980.

THE NATURE OF IMAGERY Peter Dale, Ane Another (Agenda Editions/Carcanet £6, paperback £2
Elaine Feinstein, Some Unease and Angels (Hutchinson) £2.95
Donald Hall, Kicking the Leaves (Harper & Row) $8.95, paperback $4.95

In the Foreword to his sonnet sequence, Peter Dale explains apologetically that it springs from "an obsession with the solipsism of experience". He does not go so far as to believe that the self is the only object of real knowledge or the only thing really existent; he is trying to present two lovers and finds that the relationship cannot escape being seen from his angle, even when he puts himself in the woman's place and speaks through her. The title sums up the paradox: one is not another, though an "is" hovers over the phrase as if trying to get into it; one looks at another, loves and identifies with her, but they remain separate. He also admits another related obsession-with the cyclical nature of experience-and presents the woman as in contrast "driven by a search for the unique". Thus many of the sonnets show him contemplating her contemplating reality, as in "Insights", where she is gazing at roses. He envies her utter absorption and makes it a metaphor for his absorption in her: "Move, love, finger the petal fallen there./(Your palate's curvature, its touch to me.)" When she is speaking, he sometimes makes her treat his urge to know almost as an assault, as in "Her concentration on a nutshell":


          (He'd like
to crack my code, edge deep into the skull.)
I part the hemispheres with a nuclear click.


As well as returning continually to his two ...


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