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Set Thy Love in Order

New & Selected Poems

Stephen Romer

Set Thy Love in Order Cover
RRP: GBP£ 10.39
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
eBook (Kindle)
ISBN: 978 1 784103 78 1
Categories: British
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: June 2017
168 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), Paperback, eBook (PDF)
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  • Set Thy Love in Order: New & Selected Poems gathers the work of some thirty years, taken from Stephen Romer’s four previous collections, along with a substantial selection of new poems.

    The title is a Dantesque imperative as old as the Trecento: Ordina questo amore, O tu che m’ ami – set thy love in order, o thou who lovest me. Romer’s central theme is encapsulated by these words, and his prolonged and painstaking exploration of the ‘intermittences of the heart’, frequently carried out with a Francophile self-consciousness and rueful wit, constitute so many variations on the theme.

    Romer’s New & Selected articulates the constant oscillation between love, loss and longing, and the religious desire for ‘refuge’ or ‘higher things’, and how powerfully these can come to rhythm the life of the mind and the emotions. His more recent work has included poems of love and mourning for his parents, and elegies for friends.

    Derek Mahon singled out Romer’s first collection Idols for its ‘emotional candour and intellectual clarity’, and since then the poet has endeavoured to turn the light of the intellect (and the wit) on the frequently chaotic and contradictory material of the heart.
    Stephen Romer was born in Hertfordshire in 1957 and read English at Cambridge. Since 1981 he has lived in France, where he is Maître de Conférences at Tours University. He has held Visiting Fellowships at Oxford and Cambridge and has taught in the US. He has published four full collections, including ... read more
    Praise for Stephen Romer 'Stephen Romer has achieved a breakthrough in these new poems. The death of his father has torn away a veil, releasing a fresh energy and vision.'
    Hugo Williams
    'If Tribute is haunted by aphasia, exile and the loss of continuity, those fears are shadows that give body to the essences more insistently dwelt upon, and these are apprehended with a depth of spiritual resource that is almost mystical.'
    Clive Wilmer on Tribute, in Times Literary Supplement
    'Austerely eloquent treatments of lost love and the complexities of family are juxtaposed with reflections on art and poetry - exactly the civilised range of interests that might strike fear into the incurious. Readers open to Romer's scrupulous, passionate music and the conversational intimacy of his address will gather rich rewards, however.'
    Sean O'Brien, Culture, 11 January 2009
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