New Selected Poems of W. S. Graham
New Selected Poems to mark the centenary of this undervalued, key twentieth-century poet.
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One hundred years after his birth, W. S. Graham’s words seem more awake than ever. His subtle exploration of the paradoxes of language, his passionate conviction of the importance of art and the love he expresses for the people and landscapes of his native Clydeside and adopted home of Cornwall attract more readers each year. In startlingly original poems, he celebrates family and friendship and probes the limits of our understanding of the world and our place in it. Graham’s New Collected Poems (2004) marked a crucial point in the growth of his reputation, bringing together for the first time all the poems of his seven collections as well as some of the unpublished material that had come to light since his death in 1986. Now, as we honour his centenary, this New Selected Poems presents his best and most characteristic: from his epic seafaring masterpiece ‘The Nightfishing’ to the quirky metaphysics of ‘Implements in their Places’, as well as a selection of his early neo-romantic poems, which Graham himself believed were essential to a full understanding of his oeuvre, and some remarkable uncollected work. There is no better way to make the acquaintance of one of the greatest British poets of the twentieth century.
A discovery. The art of the unsaid, with something of Wallace Stevens's lightness.
The centenary of the great Scottish poet WS Graham was marked with New Selected Poems, edited by Matthew Francis. Graham believed that language contained the “shape of all of us”, but no modern poet has written more touchingly about loneliness, often in the dead of night. The Thermal Stair, his elegy for the painter Peter Lanyon, is a heartfelt lament of great artfulness, which also magically captures the coastal landscape of Cornwall, where he lived.
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