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The Sugar Mile by Glyn Maxwell
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The Sugar Mile (edition 2005)

by Glyn Maxwell

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18None557,201 (4.5)6
Member:n_wright
Title:The Sugar Mile
Authors:Glyn Maxwell
Info:Houghton Mifflin (2005), Hardcover, 144 pages
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Tags:PoetryCollection

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The Sugar Mile by Glyn Maxwell

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On September 8, 2001, a British poet, an English gent named Clint, walked into a bar on 86th and Broadway. He began a conversation with the bartender Raul, who was about to move up with a new position at Windows on the World, and an old Englishman, Joey Stone, who had survived "Black Saturday," September 7, 1940, the beginning of the Nazi Blitz on London. Most of the voices in this poetic narrative are those who took shelter in South Hallsville School in Canning Town, waiting for buses to evacuate them into the country. The counterpoint of London, on the brink of destruction, and NYC, oblivious of the terror that awaits, is at the same time subtle and horrifying. Maxwell never gets to 9/11 -- he doesn't have to -- we all know what happened.

Each voice has a different poetic rhythm and meter, granting each their individuality. On the back jacket quotes, Derek Walcott praises Maxwell: "Glyn Maxwell's originality lies in his astounding ability to orchestrate asides, parenthetical quips, side-of-the-mouth ruminations into a formal verse with a bravura not dared before." I heartily agree. ( )
1 vote janeajones | May 30, 2009 |
Even language in The Sugar Mile is always losing and reclaiming its innocence. The most everyday of words - 'windows', 'world', 'Tate & Lyle' - become loaded with a terrible freight of hindsight, but they cannot be destroyed by it. This is a bold, beautiful and deeply rewarding poem.
 
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