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C.H. Sisson Reader
Edited by Patrick McGuinness and Charlie Louth
RRP: GBP£ 19.95
ISBN: 978 1 847772 85 5
Categories: 20th Century, Anglican, British
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: January 2014
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle), eBook (EPUB), Paperback, eBook (PDF)
Digital access available through Exact Editions
C.H. Sisson was born in Bristol in 1914. To celebrate his centenary, this Reader includes a generous selection of his poems, translations and essays. The poems are drawn from all periods of Sisson's writing life, from the darkly satirical work of the 1950s and 1960s to the Virgilian Somerset poems to the reflective late poems in which Sisson, looking out on the landscape he cherished, sees himself standing at the 'last promontory of life'. The essays demonstrate the wit, precision and sheer scope of Sisson's writings on literature, culture and politics (he was a senior civil servant before retirement). The editors declare, 'No poet has government, and few have had a clearer sense of the role of literature in participating in civic life.' An heir to Marvell, Hardy and Edward Thomas, Sisson brings to this essential Englishness the disruptive energies of modernism. Never a comfortable or comforting writer, he is an incisive intelligence and speaks with clarity to the twenty-first-century reader's expectations and discontents.
Awards won by Patrick McGuinness Long-listed, 2011 Wales Book of the Year, English Language Category in The Western Mail (Jilted City)
Praise for C.H. Sisson `His poems move in service of the loved landscapes of England and France; they sing (and growl) in love of argument, in love of seeing through, in love of the firm descriptions of moral self-disgust; they move in love of the old lost life by which the new life is condemned.'
Donald Hall, New York Times Book Review 'I think he is worth a place on the short shelf reserved for the finest twentieth-century poets, with Eliot and Rilke and MacDiarmid.'
Robert Nye, the Scotsman Praise for Patrick McGuinness 'When T.E. Hulme was killed in Flanders in 1917, he was known to a few people as a brilliant talker, a brilliant amateur of metaphysics, and the author of two or three of the most beautiful poems in the English language... he appears as the forerunner of a new attitude of mind...'
T.S. Eliot, The Criterion, 1924 'There is a huge amount to savor, learn from and enjoy here. Anyone with pretensions to know British writing of the 1940s should read it.'
Paul St John Mackintosh, TeleRead 'Patrick McGuinness has constructed a rough guide to a lonely planet, full of unquenchable cultural curiosity and irresistible ironies... Alive to every undulation of the linguistic landscapes in which he moves, McGuinnessâs poems often pivot on the cross-cultural possibilities of a single isolated word.'
New Welsh Review
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