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ISBN: 978 0 856352 82 9
Categories: 20th Century, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: January 1987
190 x 130 x 13 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
Not how the sun was plausible at morning
Nor how it was distributed at noon,
And not how much the single stone could show
But rather how much brilliance it would shun;
Simply a paring down, a cleaving to
One object, as the star-gazer who sees
One single comet polished by its fall
Rather than countless, untouched galaxies
from 'The Diamond Cutter'
Selected Poems draws on all the books Elizabeth Jennings published before Growing-Points. It represents the poet's own distillation of the first two decades of her writing - the poems which established her as one of the most passionate and precise of our writers, a woman of humane values, religious vision and natural sympathy. 'The outstanding thing about Jennings's poetry' wrote Douglas Dunn, 'is its wisdom, hard earned from grief and religious faith.' And Peter Levi says, 'She is one of the few living poets we could not do without.'
Praise for Elizabeth Jennings 'Anyone who likes poetry will love it if you get them Carcanet's Collected Poems of Elizabeth Jennings. It costs a bit but you do get well over 1,000 poems, with barely a duff one; heck, you could even give it to someone who doesn't like poetry, and suggest it will change their mind.'
Nicholas Lezard, the Guardian, 1st December, 2012
'But there is no sterility here: I defy you to read "A Living Death" and not be on the verge of tears by the end of it ("I am caught up / Within a death that does not die") This is a supremely dippable-into book. Its bulk is liberating, not intimidating.'
Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian, Tuesday 3rd April, 2012.
'it contains some of the finest lyric poetry of the 20th century'
Anne Stevenson, The Sunday Times, September 14th 1986
'in an agnostic age it is daring to write poems of religious rhapsody and more daring still to write as if the making of poems were a sacred activity.'
James Aitchison, The Glasgow Herald, May 7th 1989
'Her poetry ... conveys a strength of feeling and sincerity that few contemporary poets can match.'
Tom Velickovic, The Bookseller, September 16th 1994
'a pleasure, as well as a poetic education, to read'
Gwyneth Lewis, Poetry Review, Volume 84 no 4, Winter 1994
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