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The Clinic, Memory

New and Selected Poems

Elaine Feinstein

The Clinic, Memory - Cover
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 784103 20 0
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, British, Jewish, Memoirs, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: February 2017
215 x 136 x 9 mm
192 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle), eBook (PDF)
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Recipient of the Poetry Book Society Special Commendation 2017.

    Elaine Feinstein’s poems are the harvest of a lifetime in literature. This selection, made by the author herself, gathers work from over half a century of published writing, and is completed by a section of new poems.

    The selection ranges from early poems of feminist rebellion and tender observation of children to elegies for the poet’s father and close friends, reflections on middle-age, the conflicts in a long marriage, and meditations on the lot of refugees. In new poems Feinstein records her treatment for cancer, her feelings of dread in the clinic and unexpected moments of ‘extravagant happiness’. The exploration of memory is at once a source of ironic amusement and an acknowledgement of human transience.



    Elaine Feinstein is a poet, novelist, and biographer. She has received many prizes, including a Cholmondeley Award for Poetry, Society of Authors', Wingate and Arts Council Awards, the Daisy Miller Prize for her experimental novel The Circle, (long-listed for the ‘lost’ Man Booker prize in 2010) and an Honorary D.Litt ... read more
    Awards won by Elaine Feinstein Commended, 2017 The Poetry Book Society Special Commendation (The Clinic, Memory)
      'Here we have a life, a person in the world opened up with intelligence and tact.'
    Martina Evans, The Irish Times
      'Here we have a life, a person in the world opened up with intelligence and tact.'
    Martina Evans, The Irish Times
      'Here we have a life, a person in the world opened up with intelligence and tact.'
    Martina Evans, The Irish Times
      'Here we have a life, a person in the world opened up with intelligence and tact.'
    Martina Evans, The Irish Times
    Praise for Elaine Feinstein   'Here we have a life, a person in the world opened up with intelligence and tact.'
    Martina Evans, The Irish Times
      'Here we have a life, a person in the world opened up with intelligence and tact.'
    Martina Evans, The Irish Times
      'Here we have a life, a person in the world opened up with intelligence and tact.'
    Martina Evans, The Irish Times
    'She is an extremely fine poet. She has a sinewy, tenacious way of penetrating and exploring the core of her subject that seems to me unique. Her simple, clean language follows the track of the nerves. There is nothing hit or miss, nothing for effect, nothing false. Reading her poems one feels cleansed and sharpened.'
    Ted Hughes
    'All poets are Jews, said Marina Tsvetaeva. Elaine Feinstein, Britain's most distinguished Jewish poet, was her first translator into English and has a wonderful wiry lyricism of her own, influenced both by Russian poetry and by Charles Olson and the Black Mountain poets. She has written here a unique blend of poetry, history and personal memoir, a descent into the heartbreaking and ground breaking vistas of Russian Jewry, and Russian literary figures of the twentieth century. The poets of genius whom she did not know alive, she knows equally intimately in the best way in which one poet knows another - by learning, reading, studying, translating. The book opens with her memories of renting a flat in a rundown quarter of St Petersberg in 2005, and also with Marina Tsetaeva accepting, as Virgil accepted for Dante, the role of guide to the underworld of colourful and talented figures Feinstein has known in her rich literary life, both in Russia, London and Cambridge.'
    Ruth Padel
    'In this fascinating, lyrical meditation on literature, politics, suffering and friendship, Elaine Feinstein - a biographer of poets and a poet of the first rank herself - takes us on a richly imagined journey through a lost literary archipelago, and reconstructs the lives and fates of Russian, often Jewish, writers during the long age of Soviet terror. Combining family history, travels through modern Russia and very personal encounters with famous ghosts, Feinstein evokes, throughpoetry and prose, both the inferno of cruelty and persecutions, and a golden Jerusalem of creativity, talent and intense literary bonds. This is a moving, original work, for which Feinstein has created a selection of poems worthy of the predecessors she admires.'
    Eva Hoffman
    'Like numerous English readers, I owe my discovery of Tsvetaeva to the multi-talented poet and writer, Elaine Feinstein... Feinstein's translations prove that a poem can be re-born in its adoptive language.'
    Carol Rumens
     'Talking to the Dead is arguably Elaine Feinstein's best collection. Beautifully crafted, deeply felt, totally earned, these poems of love and bereavement, and more, will expand her readership well beyond the readers and writers of contemporary poetry who have long loved and treasured her exemplary contribution to the art.'
    Carol Ann Duffy
     'Beautiful, generous, wonderfully intense poems ... Anyone who has ever felt comforted in grief by words, or who has lived through that tension between tenderness, longing and guilt, will recognize their precision and their truth.'
    Ruth Padel
     'These are more than elegies, they are alchemy; the emotional force of the book is so strong that the dead come walking out of the pages.'
    Jo Shapcott
    'The strangeness of visited cities, with their fearful histories, has been transmuted here by the responses of a truly gifted poet.'
    Dannie Abse
     'Cities presents itself as the work of old age, but readers expecting regret or renunciation will be surprised by the affirmative character of this book. While Elaine Feinstein revisits Europe in the aftermath of Nazism, she also praises the good fortune of having lived richly in the sphere of literature and travelled widely among remarkable people. The poems here are lit with striking clarity - things retain their outline and solidity to an unusual degree.'
    Sean O'Brien
    'Elaine Feinstein has made the juncture between poetry and memoir her own. As befits a poet who is also a master of fiction and biography, she writes with casual erudition and an acute storyteller's eye. Her forays into European culture and history are dazzling. Cities is a profoundly humane, intimate exploration of the places and stages by which a life acquires meaning.'
    Fiona Sampson
     'For more than 40 years, Feinstein has been writing intensely lyrical, finely crafted poems. Those in [Talking to the Dead] are honest and moving, and are among her very best.'
    No. 1 in
    'The Ten Best New poetry collections' - the Independent, 2007
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