Bookshop Window: Provinces: Poems 1987-1991 - Czeslaw Milosz: Carcanet, pounds 6.95

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The Independent Culture
Milosz is that relative rarity, a great poet who is writing well in old age. These poems, translated from Polish by the author and Robert Hass, sometimes recall Ashbery in their love of being in medias res, although Milosz adheres to the subject a little more closely. His ruminations on Constable, Turner, Corot, Linnaeus, an anonymous chanteuse, a blacksmith's shop, have a quiet sense of satisfaction: a few scenes have been saved from the flux, replete, as they should have been. The book ends with a prose piece, 'The Philosopher's Home', which suggests that the abiding feature of the 20th century is its hyper-developed love of the image, including pornography.