John Heath-Stubbs's new book is more elegiac, but no less firm in its celebrations, than his last, Sweetapple Earth (1993). No poet since Auden has had the technical resources Heath-Stubbs deploys in his wonderfully various work. He is a poet on a substantial scale, ranging over the literatures of Europe and the Mediterranean. Intimate with classical and biblical traditions, his tone is never earnest: he has a fine sense of humor and a wry way of commenting on modern life.
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