Stride Magazine -

  THE LATEST by Martin Caseley

The Singing by C.K.Williams
72pp., £7.95, Bloodaxe Books

This latest collection typically features the usual long-lined
                                                      stanzas by C. K. Williams:
when reading his work, itís difficult at first to spot
                                                      the music in his lines,
but (and his lines often begin thus, with patterns of conjunctions),
                                                      stick with it, and ultimately,
the somewhat casually-planned ruminations gather force,
                                                      even, at times, becoming witty.

Itís difficult to pinpoint exactly the attractiveness of
                                                      the loose syntax of C. K. Williams,
but this volume, for instance, reminisces about Brodkey, celebrates
                                                      several dead friends and contemporaries
when more conventional, shorter-lined poetry finds it difficult,
                                                      yes, difficult to pace
the often conversational rhythms of bittersweet
                                                      modern piety.

There are some
short-line poems
but the same relaxed
tenor still applies. They
are, however, generally
weaker, I thought.

So if you enjoy the lateral, slightly repetitive technique familiar
                                                      to readers of C. K. Williams,
when even the careful placing of the line-breaks seems random,
                                                      until you realise it works by degrees,
the latest collection will please you, yes please you, in
                                                      an American kind of way,
but be warned, I didnít find this latest quite as powerful
                                                      as Repair
, his 1999 volume.

              © Martin Caseley 2003