The Curiosities is the eleventh book of poems from this most inventive and celebrated of British poets. Clustering around the letter 'C', the seventy-some poems that comprise this collection celebrate a lexicon of lived experience through a single letter of the alphabet. Here we find tales of cufflinks and costume, cougars and cochineal, catapults and cavalry, even canoodlings in canoes.
With a characteristic sleight of hand, Christopher Reid shifts deftly between seriousness and play, elegy and anarchy in this sometimes-zany, sometimes-haunting compendium of bright-eyed verses. Here and there the story-telling roams and sweeps: here are tales 'for' friends and loved ones, there are tales 'after' the great poets of history. But whoever and whatever the mode of address, these poems are frequently underpinned by a unifying humanity.
The Curiosities is a temptatious read, full of wisdom and surprise, humour and lament, and is a poignant and convincing reminder that in a world where 'nobody's allowed to live forever', life is for celebrating, and grasping by the collar.
Was there everA cat so clever As magical Mr. Mistoffelees!
Following Arthur Robins' criticallly acclaimed picture book of Macavity he turns his attentions to the magical Mr. Mistoffelees with delightfully hilarious results.
Perfect for ages 3+, children (and parents) will love reading aloud about the Original Conjuring Cat.
When The Orators was originally published in 1932 it was described by Poetry Review as 'something as important as the appearance of Mr Eliot's poems fifteen years ago'. Auden's second book, it confirmed the author's early reputation, built by Poems (1930),as a poet of bravura technique and disturbing insight, and found him exploring both his own complex motives and a society ill-at-ease in the years between the two world wars: 'What do you think about England, this country of ours where nobody is well?'
This edition follows the text of the 1934 second edition, and reflects the revisions made soon after the original publication.
'I have no doubt that it is the most valuable contribution to English poetry since The Waste Land.' John Hayward, The Criterion
When Simon Armitage burst on to the poetry scene in 1989 with his spectacular debut Zoom!, readers were introduced to an exceptional new talent who would reshape the landscape of contemporary poetry in the years to come. Now, twenty-five years on, Simon Armitage's reputation as one of the nation's most original, most respected and best-loved poets seems secure.
Paper Aeroplane: Poems 1989-2014 is the author's own selection from across a quarter-century of work, from his debut to the latest, uncollected work. Drawing upon all of his award-winning poetry collections, including Kid, Book of Matches, The Universal Home Doctor and Seeing Stars, this generous selection provides an essential gathering of this most thrilling of poets, and is key reading for students and general readers alike.
Ariel, first published in 1965, contains many of Sylvia Plath's best-known poems, written in an extraordinary burst of creativity just before her death in 1963. Including poems such as 'Lady Lazarus', 'Edge', 'Daddy' and 'Paralytic', it was the first of four collections to be published by Faber & Faber. Ariel is the volume on which Sylvia Plath's reputation as one of the most original, daring and gifted poets of the twentieth century rests.
'Since she died my mother has been dissected, analysed, reinterpreted, reinvented, fictionalized, and in some cases completely fabricated. It comes down to this: her own words describe her best, her ever-changing moods defining the way she viewed her world and the manner in which she pinned down her subjects with a merciless eye.' - from Frieda Hughes's introduction to Ariel
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'
Friendship and fun abound in this full-colour early reader for ages 4+.
In the faraway village of Snottington Sneeze
Lived a wizened old wizard with knocketty knees.
Woozy the Wizard loves his old broom - not too small, not too big - but it is a little rusty. So when he spies a Shiny New Shop with HOOVERS he can't believe his luck! If only he could make his new hoover go zoom ... Magic and mishap ensue with Woozy and his pet pig.
The second in a brilliant new series featuring charming rhyming text and lovely illustrations, with clear shapes and colours, this is a joy to read aloud, and just right for children moving from large-format picture books to young readers.
These poems report on worlds both robust and delicate, from boisterous pub-bluff to the oxygen bubble of an exquisite underwater spider. Whether situated in the quiet lanes of his native County Cork or amid the bustle of his adopted London, Riordan's poems exist between many states, poised at once in the grip of both activity and stillness, concerned with speaking and listening to what he hauntingly describes as 'the unwonted quiet'. There are tributes to the departed and the living, the befriended and the estranged; there are also conversations with poets, in memory and in translation, from the Spanish and from the Irish.
The collection concludes with 'The Pilgrim' - that hovers eerily 'in patrol of the edges', wherever they may be located. But just as these poems can be sage, they are also mischievous, fun-loving, gregarious creatures who like nothing better than to sing or to joke at your ear. The Water Stealer is a book full of invention and delight, whose hypnotic stories remind us of the variousness and the enchantment of the world.
Sam Riviere's debut, 81 Austerities, began as a blog responding to the spending cuts, and went on in publication to win the 2012 Forward Prize for Best First Collection.
A sequel of sorts, the 72 poems in Kim Kardashian's Marriage mark out equally sharpened lines of public and private engagement. Kim Kardashian's 2011 marriage lasted for 72 days, and was seen by some as illustrative of the performative spectacle of celebrity life. Whatever the truth of this (and Kardashian's own statements refute it), Riviere has used the furore as a point of ignition, deploying terms from Kardashian's make-up regimen to explore surfaces and self-consciousness, presentation and obfuscation. His approach eschews a dependence upon confessional modes of writing to explore what kind of meaning lies in impersonal methods of creation. For, as with 81 Austerities, the process of enquiry involves the composition method itself, this time in poems that have been produced by harvesting and manipulating the results of search engines to create a poetry of part-collage, part-improvisation.
The effect is as refractive as it is reflective, and disturbs the slant on biography until we are left with a pixellation of the first person. Kim Kardashian's Marriage is a captivating examination of artifice and reality, privacy and exposure, and an uncanny commemoration of the contemporary moment.
Michael Hofmann - a poet, translator, and intellectual vagabond - has established himself as one of the keenest critics of contemporary literature. Safely nestled between the covers of Where Have You Been?, he offers a hand to guide us and an encouraging whisper in our ear, leading us on a trip through what to read, how to think, and why to like. And while these essays bear sharp insights that will help us revisit writers with a fresh eye, they are also a story of love between a reader and his treasured books.
In these thirty essays, Hofmann brings his signature wit and sustained critical mastery to a poetic, penetrating, and candid discussion of the writers and artists of the last hundred years. Here are the indispensable poets without which contemporary poetry would be unimaginable - Elizabeth Bishop, 'the poets' poets' poet,' the 'ghostly skill' of Robert Lowell, and the man he calls the greatest English poet since Shakespeare, Ted Hughes. But he also illumines the despair of John Berryman and the antics of poetry's bogeyman, Frederick Seidel.
In essays on art that are themselves works of art, Hofmann's agile and brilliant mind explores a panoply of subjects from the mastery of translation to the best day job for a poet. What these diverse gems share are the critic's insatiable curiosity and great charm. Where Have You Been? is an unmissable journey with literature's most irresistible flaneur.
Paul Muldoon's new book, his twelfth collection of poems, is wide-ranging in its subject matter yet is everywhere concerned with watchfulness. Heedful, hard won, head-turning, heartfelt, these poems attempt to bring scrutiny to bear on everything, including scrutiny itself.
One Thousand Things Worth Knowing confirms Nick Laird's assessment, in the New York Review of Books, that Paul Muldoon is 'the most formally ambitious and technically innovative of modern poets, [who] writes poems like no one else.'
'What will survive of us is love.'
In this new anthology poets from across the ages lead us on a journey of love in its many forms. From Shakespeare to Rossetti, Keats to Auden, Byron to Browning an beyond, as well as a host of contemporary voices including Wendy Cope, Simon Armitage and Carol Ann Duffy, this new gathering of timeless love poems speaks to the heart about this most universal of themes.
Whether in marriage or heartbreak, friendship or infatuation, whether in pursuit of the unattainable ideal or else settling down together for life, whether in love or out of it, you will find poems here to touch the heart. A vital assembly of our most treasured and enduring love poems.
Paul Muldoon's new book, his twelfth collection of poems, is wide-ranging in its subject matter yet is everywhere concerned with watchfulness. Heedful, hard won, head-turning, heartfelt, these poems attempt to bring scrutiny to bear on everything, including scrutiny itself. One Thousand Things Worth Knowing confirms Nick Laird's assessment, in the New York Review of Books, that Paul Muldoon is 'the most formally ambitious and technically innovative of modern poets, [who] writes poems like no one else.'
When Chaucer composed Troilus and Criseyde he gave us, some say, his finest poem, and with it one of the most captivating love stories ever written. A Double Sorrow, Lavinia Greenlaw's new work, takes its title from the opening line of that poem in a fresh telling of this most tortured of love affairs.
Set against the Siege of Troy, A Double Sorrow is the story of Trojan hero Troilus and his beloved Criseyde, whose traitorous father has defected to the Greeks and has persuaded them to ask for his daughter in an exchange of prisoners. In an attempt to save her, Troilus suggests that Criseyde flees the besieged city with him, but she knows that she will be universally condemned and looks instead to a temporary measure: pretending to submit to the exchange, while promising Troilus that she will return to him within ten days. But once in the company of the Greeks she soon realises the impossibility of her promise to Troilus, and in despair succumbs to another.
Lavinia Greenlaw's pinpoint retelling of this heart-wrenching tale is neither a translation nor strictly a 'version' of Chaucer's work, but instead creates something new: a sequence of glimpses from the medieval poem that refine the psychological drama of the classical story through a process of detonation or amplification of image and phrase into original poems. In a series of skillfully crafted seven-line vignettes, the author creates a zoetrope that serves to illuminate the intensity with which these characters argue each other and themselves into and out of love. The result is a breathtaking and shattering read -contemporary and timeless - that builds into an unforgettable telling of this most heartbreaking of love stories.
Shortlisted for the 2014 Costa Poetry Award.
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