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The title-sequence of David Harsent’s new collection of poems, Legion, offers a report from an unnamed war, in which various images of conflict accrue without cohering, as if the reader is locked inside the crisis together with the protagonists. In a series of momentary and abruptly discontinuous images, laconic despatches from a war-zone, a fictional testimony begins to take shape – an array of different voices giving witness to war and the consequences of war. In its formal mastery of the poetic sequence, Legion is a distinguished successor to David Harsent’s previous collection, Marriage.
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