A review of Stephen Ratcliffe's 'Conversation'
Stephen Ratcliffe’s book-length poem Conversation (2011) is a sharp and prescient writing that continues the one-hundred-year tradition established by the early Imagists. That there be “Direct treatment of the ‘thing’ whether subjective or objective. Regarding rhythm: to compose in the sequence of the musical phrase …”
In Ratcliffe’s writing, movements are on the page — with their own integrity and ruminative space, not simply for the purpose of character description. And this is an important distinction; the motion within Conversation is alive.