NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
STEVE DOLPHY: THE CRY OF THE DUCK EGG SELLER
Ram Publications
12 Eliot Vale
Blackheath
London
SE3 OUW
UK
ISBN 0 9545630 1 8
4.85 [US$10] post free
available direct from the author at
265 High St.
Eastleigh
Hampshire
SO50 5NB
UK
UK cheques payable to "Stephen Smith"

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STEVE DOLPHY: THE CRY OF THE DUCK EGG SELLER

Steve Dolphy lived in Vietnam from 1997 to 2001; apart from two haiku book-ending this selection the other 77 were written while he was in Vietnam, the first half dealing with Hanoi where he lived and worked, the rest with the city of Hue which is his wife's hometown and where he got married. The haiku are mostly precise and well-crafted, and strikingly original in the image they draw, as shown by the following two examples:

	January morning
	shivering bread girls
	hug warm loaves

		watermelon stall
		the smile of the fruit seller
		a slice taken out
Three more examples also illustrate the poet's wry and confident sculpting of a particular situation or idea:
	long winter walk
	picking up a stone
	to accompany me

		seafood restaurant
		the waiter pulls a hook
		from a diner's throat

       uneasy with stepchildren
       wishing he knew
       a magic trick to do
Steve Dolphy is able to compress a host of images and juxtapositions into his handful of words:
	lunchtime news
	imagining famine
	between mouthfuls

		sunlit lounge
		the baby reaches
		for her shadow

       noon sun
       the only thing moving
       a bead of sweat
Some excellent work here.

Reviewer: Alan Hardy.