Weir does sterling scholarly work in unearthing the few facts we know about this brief adolescent fixation and shows Baxter returned to it repeatedly in later life, and later writings, as a devastating epoch in his life, says Hugh Roberts.
Sometime about 1957, James K Baxter gathered up a group of poems written after the break-up of a brief relationship more than a decade earlier. Titling the group simply “Some Poems: 1944-1945”, he sent them to an unknown recipient with a note explaining he had written them aged “17 to 18, at Varsity” and describing them as “uneven” and yet as capturing the “self-consciousness, the touch of hysteria, yet the very real desolation of adolescent love”. Perhaps, in the end, this is all that needs or should be said about the sequence.
Although some 15 of the 21 poems have been ...
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