This is an occasional poetry blog so titles are important - but let's not forget irony!
The best advice on receipt of a new car is to go out and put a scratch on it. So it is in poetry, there's no relaxation until the first negative review of your last book. In my case Poetry Ireland Review has handsomely obliged in the latest issue 90 pp 96-7. Apart from a misrepresentation of my birthright (for "Ballymena" read "Coleraine") I can finally move on. Or so I thought!
At a book launch last week I was chatting to a fellow poet; in hindsight, that conversation now seems rather stilted, with me doing most of the talking; eventually, for want of a topic, I mentioned the review; my colleague's relief was evident. He agreed that he had seen it and had judged it harsh but, more importantly, he freely admitted that he was too embarassed to mention it. It was like a death in the family. So, this is my plea: no more of "don't mention the review!" After all, nobody died!