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Pierrot, Harry Smart’s first volume of poetry, might have been written to defy encapsulation. Its subjects range from the seascape of Montrose to an imagined meditation of Dante at Birkenau, and its tones from pure lyricism to the forensic, from elegy to the laconic menace of a speaker spoiling for trouble. Nothing here is comfortable or predictable, except for the precision of the writing. Grim humour, moral seriousness and a troubled pathos make Pierrot a noteworthy debut.
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