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ISBN: 978 1 857541 22 9
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: March 1995
215 x 135 x 5 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
I have wasted ten years. You did not love me, ever.
You laughed at me, but that was long ago.
When I was far, you thought that I might be
A glittering comfort.
They, the two woodpigeons
Sit on one branch, grow dark in the afternoon
Or sun licks round a collar. They are preening
Easy as moulting, heavy, grey and slow.
A curl of white, a single feather, falls.
As boulders wait, these two are beautiful.
I do not envy stones. The ten years are
Heavy as the feather's drifting star.
In 1829, Alison Brackenbury's first collection for seven years, the poet travels to three continents: there are poems from her Asian, African and European journeys, and the different peopled landscapes that she visits are
evoked with her resonant lightness of touch, her granting rhythms and the
grace of a subtle, distinctive prosody.
The title poem was broadcast as part of the Mozart bicentenary celebrations on BBC Radio 3. Music has always featured in Brackenbury's poems; in this volume, which risks the dark of a minor key, it becomes a central motif. The poems travel in time as well as space. They also stay at home in a world of disorderly domesticity with cats and ponies.
Peter Forbes, editor of Poetry Review describes her as 'incontrovertibly the real thing, with an insistent, insidious music that once learnt becomes addictive'.
Praise for Alison Brackenbury 'Brackenbury is a poet of strong feeling, deeply involved with her subject matter. That the work is cast with such craft and needs to do so little to draw attention to itself makes it all the more pleasurable.'
Jonathan Davidson, Poetry Review 'Alison Brackenbury's ninth collection of poems is a humble, often humorous, celebration of the everyday and the privileges of age.' - Harriet Barker, TLS 'It is her immediate response to the natural world happenings, the seasons, family and memories, and all life's incidentals that make her poems so easy to relate to.' - D. A. Prince, The North 'Filigreed with images of light and dark throughout, it's evocative, amusing and utterly compelling.'
Frances Lass, Radio Times 'Glorious'
Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph 'Enchants'
The Times 'Alison has a fine ear for rhythm and sound and, like all good poets, is a sharp observer of the world around us.'
Angela France, Gloucestershire Echo 'The delicate particularity [...] of her style chimes with that of the world. [...] One hopes that Brackenbury's kind of distinctive formal sensibility won't disappear any time soon.'
Vidyan Ravinthiran, Poetry London
'Alison Brackenbury loves, lives, hymns and rhymes the natural world and its people like no other poet.'
Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales
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