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The Anathemata

David Jones

David Jones’s The Anathemata: ‘Very probably the finest long poem written in English this century.’ (W.H Auden)

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‘The Anathemata can scarcely fail to be counted a great book… It does what Epic is meant to do. It gives a philosophic view, tenable for our times, of the secret places where nature finds reconciliation with the Divine.’ The Listener

‘In Parenthesis is one of the enduring works that came out of the first world war. The Anathemata is more obviously a poem, in the sense in which Pound’s Cantos is a poem. . . Both his books — like his paintings — have a thrice-distilled quality of finality and impersonality, like Gothic stone-carvings or the paintings on the walls of the Lascaux caves.’ Kathleen Raine


David Jones (1895-1974) was born in Kent. In 1915, then an art student, he went to war with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, where he fought in the battles of the Somme and Ypres. In 1922 he began a long association with the artist Eric Gill. In Parenthesis, based on Jones’s experiences in World War I, was published in 1937, followed…

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