Nods to history in topical verse
Best admire) talks to Constance Markievicz, one of the mighty, turbulent women who stalks the poems of Yeats like the destiny of Ireland. “Constance Markievicz woke in grand Highland country / in the snow shadow of Ben Nevis, newly / tramping beside Jeremy Corbyn …’’
In “open country, high hills and waves as wild / or gentle as horses” the chat touches on friendship. “‘ But complex,’ sighed Corbyn hopefully, ‘Mountbatten / and his wife were friends with Gandhi.’ Constance, / who had wounded a British sniper in the fight / for Saint Stephens’ Green, had come quite late / to the concept of passive resistance … ”
Maiden’s version of poetry including history has something of the rich, unstable, beguilement of a poetry, like Yeats’s, that purloins the grandeur of history to provide poetic narrative and dialectic with a seriousness of drama and allusion comparable to its high and mighty formal magic.
In The Metronome the calamitous wrongs of what has been done to harried seekers of refuge on Nauru (and to the once rich people of Nauru themselves) recall George Orwell’s view of the