Dog Latin, Norman Morrissey: book review

Beard, M.M. (2007) Dog Latin, Norman Morrissey: book review. English in Africa, 34 (1). pp. 177-179. ISSN 0376-8902




I have only seen one earlier collection of Morrissey's - his slim volume Seasons (1999). Therein he revealed his enjoyment and interest in haiku. Even the two longer poems in that volume were haiku-like, being brief self-contained stanzas grouped under a single title. His new volume, Dog Latin, consists of sixty short poems primarily concerned with man and nature. A number of these are haiku-like in their brevity ("Edgar on Inclusive Fitness," "Setting Ratbane," "Adam Again"), although they too often do not amount to more than post-it like notes. ("This habit / of holding habits to the wind / -me" is the sum total of the poem "Adam Again.") The epigraph to the whole collection is the final stanza of Robert Frost's "The Need of Being Versed in Country Things," which suggests both Morrissey's interest in the apparently unconsidered minutiae of natural objects and beings, and, it would seem, an admiration of Frost's deceptively plain, unmannered style.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Margot Beard is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department, Rhodes University
Uncontrolled Keywords:Norman Morrissey; Dog Latin; book reviews; haiku; poetry; poems; Robert Frost; Wordsworth; South Africa
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > English
ID Code:1067
Deposited On:28 Aug 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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