NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
ROBERT SHEPPARD: HYMNS TO THE GOD IN WHICH MY TYPEWRITER BELIEVES
Stride Publications
4b Tremayne Close
Devoran
Cornwall
TR3 6QE
UK ISBN 1 905024 05 3
8.50

email Stride Publications
visit the website of Stride Publications

www
NHI review home page
FAQ page
Notes for Publishers

book reviews
anthologies
magazines
other media

Web design by Gerald England
This page last updated: 10th December 2007.
ROBERT SHEPPARD: HYMNS TO THE GOD IN WHICH MY TYPEWRITER BELIEVES

HYMNS TO THE GOD IN WHICH MY TYPEWRITER BELIEVES is a collection of texts and commentaries, inspired largely by other people's writings. Despite the copious notes referencing the original works, there is a definite feeling that the poems would gain from a prior knowledge of these original pieces. Unfortunately this reviewer is not familiar with many of the texts that have inspired these poems. In the case of READING THE READER, I have read Bernard Schlink's novel THE READER, twice in fact and found that Robert Sheppard's piece didn't add significantly to my experience of that novel, which in my mind stands alone, without need of commentary or clarification. I'm not sure I quite grasped the point of many of these pieces.

This is all a shame as there are some beautiful moments here. Sheppard can demonstrate a real feel for words as in this extract from LUSCIOUS CLUSTERS, that makes use of Marvell's THE GARDEN:

	his dream a cascade of light he clings
	to the rise and fall of his breathing
	waits one stretched bed spring he feels the length
	of his body for a message a shiver faint glow dark door
	the stenographers ear pressed against the syntax.
Where this collection excels for me, is in the pieces that reflect on current events as much as on other people's writings. For instance this precise, evocative and chilling description from FOUR ODES:
A radar station gleams on the Dales. A tense, dense dome. The signals of its dermis erupting a calligraphy of germs.
CLOSING THE BOOKS, LOCKING THE CHESTS for example, is a powerful and thought provoking meditation on 11 September 2001, which demands to be read:
The disaster is not intimate, yet they crowd round the radio as in a wartime poster. Any one of them could be Judas.
This is a collection of thought provoking pieces for well-read readers who don't mind being challenged by their poetry.

reviewer: Juliet Wilson.