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RRP: GBP 9.95
ISBN: 978 1 847778 07 9
Categories: 21st Century
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: August 2011
116 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
Let us have no religions, Torquatus, except those which belong
To roads and libraries, to a code of manners whose primary purpose
Is the maintenance of parks and fountains.
Chris McCully’s Selected Poems includes work from 1993 to 2009, a representative selection which reveals his precise craft of language and poetic form. The book opens with the prose-poem ‘Dust’ from his 2009 collection Polder, a meditation on extinction: ‘dust again the voices of the pages and the voices of the lovers’. Other voices follow, conversations in which civility, memories of friendship, art and literature respond to the desolation of dust, asserting what can be created out of it.
In translations from Old English, sonnets, villanelles and ballads, McCully’s supple, sparing verse celebrates the fragile areas in which we live, ‘between space and space – / and both are dark’.
Cover painting David Blackburn, Beach Fragment II, pastelon paper, 1999. Reproduced by kind permission of the artist and the Hart Gallery
McCully is a keen fly-fisher, a translator of Old English poetry and an expert prosodist; and these skills have miraculously combined so that almost every poem slights on the surface of the reader’s mind with absolute integrity, judgement, and a profound allure - Adam Thorpe, The Observer
Praise for Chris McCully 'McCully gets the life of words, their swing and weight, resonance and cadence. The poems spark with great lines and phrases...'
Literary Review 'this is a singular collection from a singular voice in English poetry, and I highly commend it.'
Phillip Quinlan, Angle
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