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Poems and Masks
RRP: GBP£ 12.99
You Save: GBP£ 1.30
Price: GBP£ 11.69
This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
ISBN: 978 1 784105 38 9
Categories: 21st Century, British, First Collections
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: February 2018
216 x 135 x 7 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), eBook (EPUB), eBook (PDF)
Ned Denny’s Unearthly Toys are treacherous playthings, as rigorously structured as they are thematically unsettling, a ‘rhapsody of rags gathered from several dung-hills, excrements of authors, toys and fopperies confusedly tumbled about’ (as Robert Burton dubbed his Anatomy of Melancholy).
The collection opens on a twilit, numinous world of exotic drugs, subterranean drums and visionary apprehension in which – to quote Twin Peaks, a recurrent leitmotif – ‘the woods are wondrous … but strange’. Interspersed with original poems in a variety of complex forms is a series of illuminated and darkly erotic ‘remakes’ of other poets’ work, from the Old English classic The Wanderer to late Baudelaire via Goethe, Cavalcanti, Li Po, enigmatic troubadour lyrics, and the medieval abbess Hildegard von Bingen. Politics are never far away: modern man’s severance from the earth, the sacred, and his own inner self has grave consequences.
Praise for Ned Denny 'Ned Denny is a gifted troubadour who has crossed the ages. Unearthly Toys is formidably learned and formally exacting, but his versions are vividly imaginative and original. This is a book of great beauty and conceptual power: extremely clever but also haunting, proving again that formal requirements such as sestinas can be as much of a liberation as a constraint.'
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