Carcanet Press
Quote of the Day
Devotedly, unostentatiously, Carcanet has evolved into a poetry publisher whose independence of mind and largeness of heart have made everyone who cares about literature feel increasingly admiring and grateful.
Andrew Motion

Unearthly Toys

Poems and Masks

Ned Denny

Unearthly Toys Cover
RRP: GBP 12.99
Discount: 10%
You Save: GBP 1.30

Price: GBP 11.69
New Release Available Add to basket
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
88 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), eBook (EPUB), eBook (PDF)
  • Description
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • 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.
    Ned Denny was born in London in 1975 and has worked as a postman, art critic, book reviewer, music journalist and gardener. His poems and remakes have appeared in publications including PN Review, Poetry Review, The White Review, Oxford Poetry, the TLS, and Modern Poetry in ... read more
     '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.'
    Bernard O'€™Donoghue
    'An earthly joy and a staggering debut... at times truly startling'
    Andrew McNeillie, Clutag Press/Archipelago
     'As among the most inventive translators of Dante - watch this space - Denny as a poet goes to Hell and back time after time, with immense verve and authority.'
    New Italian Studies
    'See, for a long time - since I reached these far-away shores, some thirteen years ago - I have been looking for a book of poems. A book of poems. One book of poems that had 'great beauty and conceptual power'. The quest and the drought are finally over. The spell was broken by a book that arrived yesterday, bringing Unearthly Toys down under. Ned Denny's poems are magnificent and so are his versions. This book is a blessing... that Catullus as opener, the Cavalcanti, Cloud... and what about the mesmerizing Waking? But for now I'll pick Fir. It is a powerful book precisely because it originates in the 'thickest of thickets', where truth is to be found and offered - and found it he has, and offered it he has, so gracefully, lightly (as in Calvino's definition of lightness) and truthfully... truthful to himself and to the things and the poems themselves.'
    Marco Sonzogni, Senior Lecturer in Italian, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Share this...
The Carcanet Blog New Poetries VII: Neil Fleming read more New Poetries VII: Helen Charman read more New Poetries VII: Rowland Bagnall read more New Poetries VII: Katherine Horrex read more New Poetries VII: Toby Litt read more New Poetries VII: Phoebe Power read more
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2018 Carcanet Press Ltd