Petr Borkovec

Ryan Scott reviews Petr Borkovec

From the Interior: Poems 1995-2005 by Petr Borkovec

Seren Books, 2008

Petr Borkovec has been referred to as the leading poet in the next generation of Czech poets. But who are this next generation? How do they relate to the old? And what is Borkovec's place among them? The most general answer to the first two questions, which the translator Justin Quinn addresses in his insightful introduction to From the Interior: Poems 1995-2005, is that Borkovec differentiates himself from earlier poets in that he is not obviously political. There are 'no oblique parodies, no message-in-the bottle ironies'. Without a totalitarian regime to strike against, Borkovec's imagination and language, at least as it is represented in this collection, weave through the quotidian: train rides, new apartments, wildlife and natural scenes; and it is in these seemingly light topics that Borkovec's artistry as a poet takes flight.

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