Prac Crit

Dai George

Dai George is an editor at Prac Crit. His first book of poems, The Claims Office, was published by Seren in 2013.

‘Your Eyes Tonight’ – essay by Dai George

Philip Larkin didn’t much like John Donne. He found him far-fetched and bombastic, or as he put it in a letter to Monica Jones once, ‘silly’, perhaps the word that best captures Larkin’s own latent anxiety and reverse snobberies. He longed for a poetry that could reject adolescent silliness and walk around in the world recording the sadness and beauty it found there, stripped of its traditional modes of special pleading. This isn’t necessarily a silly desire, but Larkin’s distaste fo...

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‘Principalities, Dominions’ – interview by Dai George

Gwyneth Lewis is a meticulous poet but a visionary one. Should there be a ‘but’ in that sentence? You’d hope not, though unfortunately the two qualities seem to have become divorced in my mind. With her fondness for sequences and rhyme, an omnivorous researcher’s eye, and source material ranging from the Bible to contemporary physics, Lewis writes poetry rooted in authority. Yet those roots are always branching into new territory, often somewhere troubled or strange. In Sparrow Tree, her...

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‘The New Intelligence’ – interview by Dai George

In our quick-fire, clickbait age, Timothy Donnelly’s poems are arrestingly maximal. Big and sinuous, often stretching far beyond the single page, they stage dramatic philosophical arguments about selfhood, perception, moral values, and the economic metaphors that have come to dominate human life. If that all sounds too serious and monumental, we might remember that he is also a poet quite comfortable with sitting immobile in the bath for hours on end and declaring, ‘World – / I was totally...

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Poem on 27th Birthday

The osteria’s blasting jazz, the slick and fruity / after-hours sort, and down the street a Fiat stereo / fronts up with a folksy Anglophonic strum. / I’m down with it all; I’m a honey trap for wasps / snuffling the grains in my espresso cup, / but those bastards don’t bug me anymore. No, / the dread in this young daddio’s soul derives / mainly from the monoglotic cringe that comes / in proffering twenty per un grande bicchiere / and hearing, ‘Do you have any smaller chang...

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Mergers and Acquisitions

Just as two dandelions choke in the web / a spider laid to trick his evening kill, / so do I flail in the net of being born / too near technology’s final coup. / / At the windiest end of August, / in a cardigan upon the well-heeled hill, / I drink with my neighbours – the girl in boots, / the book swap and the gastro pie – and just / / as my kingdom fawns on summer champions, / so does a child fasten to a catalogue and cry / methodically in yearning for this toy then th...

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