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The Gypsy and the Poet
ISBN: 978 1 847771 24 7
Categories: 21st Century, Art, British
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: August 2013
210 x 130 x 8 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), eBook (EPUB)
‘Do you ever tell lies, Wisdom?’ ‘All the long day through, brother,’
laughs the Gypsy. He lights his long pipe beneath his hat’s brim.
‘But the brassest of lies’ – the Gypsy plucks – ‘are like this heather:
a charm against visible harm and’ – he crushes it – ‘invisible harm.’
And the friends look at each other across the invisible stage of grass.
from ‘The Act’
Beginning with the real-life encounter between the poet John Clare and a Gypsy named Wisdom Smith, David Morley reinvigorates the sonnet sequence to stage the fellowship that develops between the two men. We see the Gypsy and the poet banter, argue and teach each other lessons; work, love, and lose what they have loved. The central section of the book enacts Clare’s own belief in the creative forms of nature itself: ‘I found the poems in the fields / And only wrote them down’.
The Invisible Gift
Wisdom Smith Pitches his Bender on Emmonsales Heath, 1819
John Clare’s Notes
The Gypsy’s Evening Blaze
The Magic Stone
Wisdom Smith Shows John Clare the Right Notes and the Wrong
The Invisible Fair
A Spring Wife
Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery
A Picture of Eternity Drawn in Crayons
Wisdom Smith Shakes John Clare’s Hand
The Boy and the Wren
On Not Rushing at Waterfalls
A Butterfly Emerges from the Poems of E.B.
Ballad of the Moon, Moon
Foxes, Swans, Starlings
Marriage Vows of a Rom to a Gadji
Sessile and Strid
An Olive-Green Coat
Tenant of Leaves & Flowers & Glossy Stalks
King of Cormorants
The Friend of All Friends
The Gypsy and the Poet
Awards won by David Morley Winner, 2015 Poetry Society Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry (The Invisible Gift )
'A rare and beautiful book.'
The Guardian on The Invisible Kings (2007) 'Here are two outsiders working at poetry from the underside of nature, Clare now âin a brown huffâ, Wisdom snaring âa warren with a snigger of wiresâ. Using a mixture of sonnets, Romani language, concrete poetry, and the dynamics of birdsong, Morley conjures a marvellous sense of nature as intimacy, something precise yet loaded and of immense importance to us.'
George Szirtes Praise for David Morley 'Like opening a box of fireworks, something theatrical happens when you open its pages ... Ted Hughes wrote about the natural magical and mythical world; The Invisible Gift is a natural successor.'
Ali Smith, Andrew McMillan & Jackie Kay, Ted Hughes Award judges.
'David Morley takes us on a voyage to the other half of his heritage. In a serial masterpiece of macaronic verse, he shows us a life intimate with our own...yet more deeply Other than romantic fairytales or even authentic music from Spain and Eastern Europe had suggested it might be. He holds our world up to a language mostly kept secret up to now...the refraction of the familiar is dizzying yet often moving.'
'T'he strange atmospherics suffuse every page while the balance struck between mystery and disclosure can be breathtaking...Such moments led me to feel that Morley had not so much created a new universe as uncovered one. Any universe is bound together by language; and Morley brings Romany vocabulary fizzing and crackling into our consciousness'
Tim Liardet, Guardian 'Enchantment by David Morley is a linguistic feast...'
Jonathan Bate Sunday Telegraph Books Of The Year 2010
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