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The Occupant

Jane Draycott

9781784103002
RRP: GBP£ 7.99
Available This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
eBook (EPUB)
ISBN: 978 1 784103 01 9
Categories: 21st Century, British, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: October 2016
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle), eBook (PDF)
  • Description
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • ‘I watch you sweat,
    I watch you sleep. Some far and submarine light
    keeps you swimming. In the blueberry bloom
    lungs loosen, the pulse is in retreat,
    speech is unlearned and falls in spools
    of oil-shine tape along the mineshaft floor.’


    Following the success of her T. S. Eliot Prize-nominated Over and award-winning translation of the medieval Pearl, Jane Draycott returns with her fourth collection of poems, The Occupant. With a rhythmic subtlety and metrical poise that have become hallmarks of her verse, Draycott hints at the existence of a world of dreamlike clarity underneath our own. In the National Gallery a gardener cuts away the flower from a still-life canvas to replant in his own garden; in an abandoned sanatorium a grand piano dreams of the voices and music of days past, ‘rose-spotted paintwork peeling softly, half-moon fanlights rising, sinking’. At the heart of these imagined scenes the long title poem, ‘The Occupant’, draws on scenes proposed but left unwritten in Martinus Nijhoff’s Awater. In the stifling summer air, Draycott’s occupant trawls the streets of an unnamed city whose ‘dead lanes keep their silence’, where ‘the frail expire and pale dogs whimper’, as its police post notices: ‘Missing: Have you seen this wind?’
    Jane Draycott was born in London in 1954 and studied at King’s College London and Bristol University. Her first full collection, Prince Rupert’s Drop (Carcanet/OxfordPoets), was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 1999. In 2002 she was the winner of the Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry and in 2004, ... read more
    'Her searching curiosity and wonderful assurance make her an impeccable and central poetic intelligence.'
    Penelope Shuttle, Manhattan Review
    Praise for Jane Draycott 'Her searching curiosity and wonderful assurance make her an impeccable and central poetic intelligence.'
    Penelope Shuttle, Manhattan Review
     'I've waited some time to read something this intelligent, this sensuous and this crystalline. In fact The Night Tree is the finest collection I've read for ages.'
    Guardian
    'Jane Draycott's quiet, meticulous poems inhabit the vague, evanescent world between waking and sleeping. Her vision is of an England half in dream, a Samuel Palmer twilight in which things begin to move into an unexpected focus.'
    Times Literary Supplement
    'The language is marvellously modulated yet stirringly wild. Draycott has carried over into our tamer, tired world a strong, strange sense of how original, gorgeous and natural this old poem can be.' - David Morley, Poetry Review
    'When Jane Draycott read, for the first time, sections of her exquisitely modulated translation of the 'Pearl' poem, its echoing character seemed to transport me from one cultural space to another... I came as close to hearing the 'Pearl' poet's voice as I am ever likely to be.' - Stella Halkyard, PN Review 'Draycott's version is compellingly human.'
    Lachlan Mackinnon, Times Literary Supplement
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