There is something in the admirable work of John Fuller that makes one feel slightly uneasy. For there is no question but the work is admirable: ‘teasing, touching, mysterious, immaculate’ as the blurb to The Beautiful Inventions says, and it is perfectly true. John Fuller’s poems are a marvellous text book of all the graces and his new book does not fail us in this respect. He teaches us to be delicate without being prissy, racy without being vulgar, lyrical without being fulsome. His language is resonant, his cadences satisfying: his command is in all respects enviable. The moral centre has been pointed out, the similarities to Auden much remarked on. Perhaps one should just tell this sense of uneasiness to go hang. But let us articulate it first.
One wonders in the first place whether the Muse is such a ‘sensible girl’ as he pretends and whether he has serious thoughts of joining people in the street where, as he put it, ‘suffering and truth must meet’. All his verse exhibits a distrust of those who would want