BOOK REVIEW / Hans Magnus Enzensberger: Selected Poems, Bloodaxe 8.95. Translated by the author and Michael Hamburger

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The Independent Culture
Hans Magnus Enzensberger: Selected Poems, Bloodaxe pounds 8.95. Translated by the author and Michael Hamburger, this dual- language Selected offers a conspectus of Enzensberger's distinguished career from 1960 to 1991, including material from his much-praised The Sinking of the Titanic (1978). He started out wanting to write 'poems for people who don't read poems', a familiar ambition, and never stops furnishing 'Further Reasons Why Poets Do Not Tell the Truth'. This Brechtian abrasiveness sometimes wastes itself in truisms and cosy nay-saying, but it proceeds from a fiercely humorous intelligence. The voice never stops asking its blizzard of questions: 'We make the tables turn, we ask reality / How real is it?'William Scammell

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