Reviews

From Poetry Salzburg Review Spring 2008.

A poet I should have come across, but hadn’t, is Norman Buller…….He shows a strong preference for the short finished poem which has a muscular elegance and a clean economy of line….Buller is a traveller too and one with an interest in paintings and visual art, but it is the past which he seeks in everything he observes, not as a refuge from the traumas of the present but as a confirmation that the barbarian has always been just outside the door. Many of these poems rhyme and are tightly shaped……and it seems as if poetry, for Buller, in all its linguistic skill and tightly controlled shapes, is something for the desperate to hold onto in a broken world. There is strong meat here and it should come with a health warning for the soul.

 

 

From Envoi issue 152 February 2009.

Norman Buller’s Sleeping with Icons is an important and unusual book and the wait has been worthwhile. It resonates with the depth of a calm voice, at one with its curious genesis…..An ambitious piece like Broken Kings demonstrates a talent more than fit for purpose. In the core of the book, Buller’s eye roves further, deeper. Two moving poems about his parents are typically simple in form and piercing in impact……There are several poems of place, each drawing a finely-wound thread of images through our imaginations….the surprise of the mundane is neatly captured. The book concludes with a number of powerful translations and ‘variations’ of other (mainly European) writers including Baudelaire, Trakl, Petrach and Lorca. A more formal style comes to Buller with an easy elegance. Its mature melancholy creates a particular voice…..Rapture and sadness – two of the many human conditions captured by this resurgent, authoritative writer.