The Carnation

Barn Dream Press

Here's a review of Paul Hannigan's The Carnation courtesy of the Ploughshares archive. There's this: "sometimes a sort of camp nonchalance or cute slapstick is alchemized into a desperate sense of exile." And then, "And then, when we least expect it, the same tenor of grotesqueness, of easy jocularity, burns itself permanently into our minds."

The conclusion: "And beneath, or above, it all we see the poet himself: weary, horny, in love and out, hungering, scoffing, or just remembering. Musing over an old photo album he wonders (these are the best lines in the book, to my mind):

     And what fraction of your lifelong boredom
     Is owing to these just claims of ectasy?"

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