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ISBN: 978 1 847771 63 6
Categories: 21st Century
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: July 2012
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
Standing like an act
Like a person present
Sometimes sure sometimes
Standing still and waiting
While the commons shifts.
from ‘Four poems by way of document’
All Just, David Herd's second Carcanet collection, makes poems from the fractured phrases and competing idioms of contemporary movement, its translations between public and private spaces. Conversations start and are broken off. Public announcements intervene in private situations. In the background, an emergency is about to unfold.
Taking bearings from Dover and London, from elegy and protest, from official structures that determine where people can go, and the futures that cross them, All Just explores the social spaces in which we all move. It asks what it means to be at large in the world, and what language we have to document the journey.
To the historians – a letter
On not being a man who is Piero della Francesca
On not being a man who is Piero (out set)
And Piero, a further word
Song of the road
Poem beginning with a phrase from Whitman
Song of the cigarette
For a friend, after a translation
3 notes towards a love song
Song of the mobile
3 poems becoming elegy
Ecology (out set)
Where things stand
One by one
Song of the sea
Song of the passing truck
Some woman pressed
Some woman pressed (out set)
To a friend, after a word by Charles Olson
Song of the ultimatum
Somehow it seems
Song of the stewards
Show and tell
Song of the breath
We do this, we do that
Some details maybe
A footnote to the American constitution
Song of the cart
They offered me a television. I offered them a phone.
Some might call it shopping
Four poems by way of document
Letter to the Corinthians
'In an era in which the relationship between poetry and politics is rarely subtle, the quiet but insistent linguistic and thematic complexities of All Just carry a rare quality and one that mark it out as that rare thing in the poetry marketplace: an important collection.'
Nikolai Duffy, The Literateur
'The difficulty of knowing "where one stands" both in space and affect, whether it requires particularising or details, whether one can choose where one stands, is perhaps the condition of being modern and is explored in All Just in a way that is resonant and haunting.'
Ann Vickery, Mascara
Praise for David Herd 'Only a handful of English-language poets are writing as uncompromisingly, and as importantly, as Herd, a poetry of both political and linguistic verve.'
Anthony Caleshu, PN Review
'...a tour de force display of wit and technique, terrific poem after terrific poem.' Poetry Review 'a dizzy and disorienting chain of teasing, clever, breezy challenging, ingratiating, and infuriating poems...there are many poems here that will put a spring in your step, and make your mind dance.' Tower Poetry 'jumbled and energetic, discursive or elliptical, chatty or terse, provocative but playful, haphazard but probing.' The Times 'A scintillating first collection of poems.' Scotland on Sunday
' All Just is a wonderful collection because it has poetry that does what many do not, meditating upon the long-term nature of a ‘holding place’ in which to live'. read more
While contemporary Canadian poetry remains the focus of this series of commentaries, I want today to shift to another neighbouring zone—contemporary British poetry—and look into David Herd’s recently released collection All Just (Carcanet 2012). read more
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