Selected Poems, By Tony Harrison


Boyd Tonkin
Friday 08 February 2013 20:00 GMT

Slangy, rooted, erudite, rhythmic, Harrison is a titan among poets: a unique Yorkshire brew of Auden, Byron, Brecht and Kipling, with a slug of Roman satire.

As Radio 4 prepares to broadcast "v." - the 1980s film-poem notable for profundity far more than for profanity - this updated selection gives new readers a perfect entry-point. Strict in form, free in thought, learned and colloquial, his mesmeric voice endures.

The closing "Shrapnel", peppered with history's ironies, yokes via his Beeston youth wartime raids and the 7/7 bombers.

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