The North Ship, Philip Larkin's earliest volume of verse, was first published in August 1945 and reissued in 1966 by Faber. The introduction, by Larkin himself, explains the circumstances of its publication and the influences which shaped its content.
This is the first thing
I have understood:
Time is the echo of an axe
Within a wood.
Larkin's final collection of poems shows, as does all his best work, his ability to adapt contemporary speech rhythms and everyday vocabulary to subtle metrical patterns and poetic forms. Many of the poems in the collection, which includes some of his best-known pieces ('The Old Fools', 'This Be the Verse', 'The Explosion', and the title poem) show the preoccupation with death and transience that is so typical of the poet.
Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.
from 'High Windows'
The letters between Eliot and his associates, family and friends - his correspondents range from the Archbishop of York and the American philosopher Paul Elmer More to the writers Virginia Woolf, Herbert Read and Ralph Hodgson - serve to illuminate the ways in which his Anglo-Catholic convictions could, at times, prove a self-chastising and even alienating force. 'Anyone who has been moving among intellectual circles and comes to the Church, may experience an odd and rather exhilarating feeling of isolation,' he remarks. Notwithstanding, he becomes fully involved in doctrinal controversy: he espouses the Church as an arena of discipline and order.
Eliot's relationship with his wife, Vivien, continues to be turbulent, and at times desperate, as her mental health deteriorates and the communication between husband and wife threatens, at the coming end of the year, to break down completely. At the close of this volume Eliot will accept a visiting professorship at Harvard University, which will take him away from England and Vivien for the academic year 1932-33.
There was an old man on the Border,Who lived in the utmost disorder; He danced with the cat, and made tea in his hat, Which vexed all the folks on the Border.
Enjoy Edward Lear's hilarious, bizarre and delightfully bonkers limericks - published on their own for the first time. As found in the collected works, The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear, which has been in print since 1947 and has sold tens of thousands of copies. The nonsense works, of which the limericks were a part, were first published in the mid-1800s.
Cats! Some are sane, and some are mad.
Some are good, and some are bad ...
The original Old Possum's illustrations have been lovingly restored and are showcased in this beautiful new hardback edition, perfect for children and Eliot aficionados alike. These lovable cat poems were written by T. S. Eliot for his godchildren and continue to delight children and grown-ups. The collection inspired the musical Cats!, and features Macavity, Mr Mistofelees and Growltiger!
A cherished part of his oeuvre, the 'Ariel Poems' of T. S. Eliot were originally commissioned for a pamphlet series of the same name that first ran between 1927 and 1931. ('Nobody else seemed to want the title afterward,' said Eliot of the series, 'so I kept it for myself.') That pamphlet series inventively paired an unpublished poem by a leading writer of the day with new artwork from an eminent artist. Thomas Hardy, Siegfried Sassoon, Barnett Friedman and John Nash were among the contributors to the first set, which broadly carried a Christmas theme and which sold for one shilling. The publisher's hope was that the pamphlets might double-up as greeting cards, and Eliot himself sent them as festive gifts to the writers on Faber's poetry list.
This handsome new publication brings together, for the first time in a single edition, the six poems that T. S. Eliot wrote for the series, and in so doing restores them to the company of the artworks that originally partnered them.
New Selected Poems 1988-2013 provides an unrivalled account of a period of work that was crowned by the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. Together with its earlier, sibling volume, it completes the arc of a remarkable career.
Shortly before his death in 2013, Seamus Heaney discussed with his publisher the prospect of a companion volume to his landmark New Selected Poems 1966-1987 aimed at presenting the second half of his career, 'from Seeing Things onwards', as he foresaw it. Although he was unable to complete a selection, he left behind selections that have been followed here.
New Selected Poems 1988-2013 reprints the author's chosen poems from his later years, beginning with his ground-breaking volume Seeing Things (1991), his two Whitbread Books of the Year, The Spirit Level (1996) and Beowulf (1999), and his multi-nominated, prize-winning volumes, Electric Light (2001), District and Circle (2006) and Human Chain (2010). The edition concludes with two posthumously published works.
New Selected Poems 1966-1987 is the author's own selection from the first half of his extraordinary career. From the outset, Seamus Heaney's writing was 'mature and certain in its touch', as Austin Clarke conferred in the Irish Times, throughout a run of epoch-making volumes in the 1960s and 70s: Death of a Naturalist (1966), Door into the Dark (1969), Wintering Out (1972) and North (1975). The bravura pieces of Field Work (1979) and Station Island (1984) that followed culminated in the Whitbread Prize for Poetry with The Haw Lantern (1987).
Since its original publication in 1990, New Selected Poems 1966-1987 has become a seminal edition, containing many of Seamus Heaney's most cherished and studied poems, 'Digging', 'Mid-Term Break', 'The Tollund Man' and 'Casualty' among them. Together with its later, sibling volume, New Selected Poems 1988-2013, it opens the story on Seamus Heaney's calling as a poet.
Some months before his tragic death in January 1972, John Berryman completed this selection from the whole of his published poetry. He designed it to provide both an introduction to his work and a summary of his poetic career up to the publication of Love and Fame. It reveals clearly that Berryman was one of the most original and important poets of the twentieth century.
'His fineness is of a kind we no longer, alas, expect, scarcely even hope for; it is produced by sheer weight of his poetic intelligence and originality.' Al Alvarez
'Poignant, abrasive, anguished, humorous.' Robert Lowell
The Ramayana is one of the great epics of the ancient world, with versions spanning the cultures, religions and languages of Asia. Its story of Rama's quest to recover his wife Sita from her abduction by Raavana, the Lord of the Underworld, has enchanted readers and audiences across the Eastern world for thousands of years.
Daljit Nagra was captivated by his grandparents' Punjabi version as a child, and has chosen to rejuvenate the story for a new generation of multicultural, multi-faith readers. By drawing on scenes originating in versions such as those from Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, as well as the better-known Indian Ramayanas, and by incorporating elements of Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain and secular versions, Nagra creates a consciously multicultural Ramayana. This dazzling version is both accessible and engaging, written in Nagra's typically vibrant and eclectic language, and bursting with energy, pathos and humour.
Alan Bennett's selection of English verse by his favourite poets, accompanied by his own enlivening commentary.
In this personal anthology, Alan Bennett has chosen more than a hundred poems by six well-loved poets, discussing the writers and their verse in his customary conversational style through anecdote, shrewd appraisal and spare but telling biographical detail. Speaking with candour about his own reactions to the work, Alan Bennett creates profound and witty portraits of Thomas Hardy, A. E. Housman, John Betjeman, W. H. Auden, Louis MacNeice and Philip Larkin, which are all the more enjoyable for being in his own particular voice.
Anybody writing poetry in the thirties had somehow to come to terms with Auden. Auden, you see, had got a head start on the other poets. He'd got into the thirties first, like someone taking over the digs.
Funded by Arts Council England, Faber New Poets aims to identify and support emerging talents at an early stage in their careers. Through a programme of mentorship, bursary and pamphlet publication, the scheme offers four poets a year the time, guidance and encouragement they require to help in the development of their work in the longer term.
Rachael Allen was born in 1989 in Cornwall and studied English Literature at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She is the online and poetry editor for Granta, co-editor of poetry anthology series Clinic and online journal Tender. Her poetry has appeared in The Best British Poetry 2013 (Salt), Poetry London, the Sunday Times, the White Review online, Stop Sharpening Your Knives 5, Dear World and Everyone In It (Bloodaxe), Night & Day (Chatto & Windus) and Five Dials. Her reviews and other writing have appeared in Ambit magazine, Dazed and Confused and Music & Literature.
<p>Funded by Arts Council England, Faber New Poets aims to identify and support emerging talents at an early stage in their careers. Through a programme of mentorship, bursary and pamphlet publication, the scheme offers four poets a year the time, guidance and encouragement they require to help in the development of their work in the longer term.</p><p>Will Burns was born in London and raised in Buckinghamshire. He didn't finish his English degree, choosing instead to start a band with his brother, releasing two albums. He worked in factories, cleaning windows and painting houses before settling in the music industry. He likes sports and ornithology and is proud to be Poet-in-Residence at <em>Caught By The River</em> and Festival No.6. His poems have been published by <em>Structo Magazine</em>, <em>South Bank Poetry</em>, <em>The Illustrated Ape</em> and the <em>Independent</em> Online, and he has appeared at the Glastonbury, Port Eliot, End of the Road and Green Man Festivals.</p>
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