NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
MICHAEL AUGUSTIN: MICKLE MAKES MUCKLE
translated from the German by Sujata Bhatt
Dedalus Press
13 Moyclare Road
Baldoyle
Dublin 13
Ireland
ISBN 978 1 904556 71 8
12

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MICHAEL AUGUSTIN: MICKLE MAKES MUCKLE

The translator, born in India, is the wife of the poet (born in Germany) and a poet in her own right. Augustin has provided drawings in addition to poems, mini-plays, and prose within this 140-page volume, some of which have appeared in translation elsewhere. The book is smartly formatted by the Irish press.

I think that the adjective generally fitted to describe the contents is 'droll'. An AFTERWORD by PHILIP CASEY describes them as funny, quirky, intriguing, provoking and ultimately moving. For me the drollery, or whatever term is used, does not always come off or is not justified. Some click, others don't. It invokes a not disreputable suspicion that audience reception would vary in Germany and England or Ireland. However, many items conceal hilarity within flat statement or question which must be amusing nation-wide.

Take SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING POEMS:

	How many poems per month
	does an average 
	family of four need
	to make ends meet?
or
	Does a poem
	have more or fewer lives 
	than a cat,
	and how many lives
	does a poem about cats have?
Other work can be gruesome and quirky at the same time. I quote BURIAL AT SEA in full:
	A gust of wind
	knocks the boat over.
	The entire congregation of mourners
	drowns.

	Only the urn
	floats.
Perhaps it is all not quite what one expects, but to expect is to spoil the cunning mental twists which rebound within this poet's brain.

reviewer: Eric Ratcliffe.