NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
ANDREW DUNCAN: SAVAGE SURVIVALS
Shearsman Books 58 Velwell Road
Exeter
EX4 4LD
UK
ISBN 978 1 905700 03 5
8.95 [$15]

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This page last updated: 10th December 2007.
ANDREW DUNCAN: SAVAGE SURVIVALS

This is a brave poetry book, a bit like an octopus, with imagination stretching out tentacles in all directions. Films, politics, planes and Essex are just a few of the topics. It is Andrew Duncan's eighth collection and it is brimming with echoes of poets, people and experience. There is even a poem called BOB COB BING BONG, inspired by the work of Bob Cobbing. A large sequence, called WEAPONS FORM WITH MUSIC, relates to THE WATER MARGIN, a 13th century Chinese novel, and section 3 is reproduced in full:

	Wet petals clinging to a pomegranate.

	Sung Chiang applies
	a tab of LSD under each eyelid
	left and right
	and sticks a martial arts video on 
	Five elements Ninja.
	Indeed, we are not in the city
	said the Daylight Rat.
The note at the top of the poem tells us Pai Shung and Sung Chiang train a corps of slit gong players. From China you can jump to Britain, with a poem called ON THE PLANTING OF A NEW NATIONAL FOREST IN STAFFORDSHIRE AND LEICESTERSHIRE:
	Gleams in the glass of furnace slag
	eloquence inked in the rich soot of clinker
	topsoil seared with a torpid blade
	of toxic metals
	lash of chimney plumes laden with particles
	black rains
	dropping their high-temperature loads with a sigh.
Andrew Duncan presents evocative atmospheres and vivid images. They are built up gradually until they almost topple over. They stand like higgledy-piggledy towers to be visited.

reviewer: Doreen King.