Paperback review: Who is Ozymandias? And Other Puzzles in Poetry, By John Fuller
Sunday 26 May 2013
"A poem should not mean, but be," in Archibald MacLeish's famous words.
John Fuller is having none of that. He goes after meanings like a pig after truffles. Here you can learn what Larkin's high windows mean (an acknowledgement of the religious point of view); why so many people get the title of T S Eliot's masterpiece wrong (it's The Waste Land – two words, not one, an error more significant than might first appear); whether it's possible to dream a good poem (not really); what Lewis Carroll's Snark was (it's kind of Freudian); and who Ozymandias is (he was Rameses II, but Shelley may have had a more contemporary emperor in mind). A witty, erudite and illuminating book, which encourages one to enjoy the puzzles and pleasures of poetry without fear.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 David Cameron refers to 83-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner as 'Jurassic Park'
- 2 iPhone 7 (or iPhone 6S) leaked pictures show similarities to older model — but Apple is fixing the biggest issue of all
- 3 Russell Brand condemns moment of silence for Tunisia attack victims as 'minute of bulls**t'
- 4 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 5 Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Amy, film review: Beautiful film reveals ugly truth behind singer's downward spiral
'Dukes of Hazzard' pulled from screens by CBS as outcry over Confederate flag grows
London Has Fallen trailer release branded 'extremely insensitive' ahead of 10th anniversary of 7/7 bombings
What if Nicolas Cage played every character in Game of Thrones?
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert