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Collected Poems

R.F. Langley

Cover Picture of Selected Poems
RRP: GBP£ 9.95
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Price: GBP£ 8.96
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ISBN: 978 1 857544 48 0
Categories: 20th Century
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: January 2000
216 x 135 x 6 mm
80 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • So Jack's your man, Jack is your man in things.
    And he must come along, and he must stay
    close, be quick and right, your little cousin
    Jack, a step ahead, deep in the hedge, on
    edge, a kiss a rim, at pinch, in place, turn
    face and tip a brim, each inch of him, the
    folded leaf, the important straw. What for.
    He's slippery and hot ...

    from 'Man Jack'

    "Langley is one of poetry's best kept secrets. This wonderfully inventive collection, bursting with linguistic exuberance, should bring him to the attention of the wider audience that he deserves."

    -The Judges of the Whitbread Poetry Award

    Collected Poems is a slim-seeming volume, containing material from Roger Langley's two pamphlet collections, Man Jack and Twelve Poems, as well as new and unpublished material. Langley's work is copious in what it provides us poem by poem: the pleasures of form, syntax and rhythm are such that, as in the poetry of Wallace Stevens, in the enchantment we are hardly aware of the serious demands that are being made; in reading him we learn to see and feel language differently. It is no surprise to learn that he is interested in natural history, in particular arachnology.

    Large webs, long poems - 'Juan Fernandez' and 'Matthew Glover', for example, celebrated among the dedicated 'alternative' readership Langley's work has long enjoyed - are interleaved with shorter pieces, and all are carried by the seriously playful, at times terse but never severe or self-regarding, verse of an accomplished and assured poet. His abstemiousness is part of a complex and beguiling integrity.

    'The quality of Langley's writing is extraordinary. On first reading I found myself bolt upright, the book falling from my hands as his poetry tore through me
    .' Randolph Healey
    R.F. LANGLEY was born in Rugby in 1938. He was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge and went on to teach English and Art History in secondary schools. He has lived in Staffordshire for most of his life, but the inspiration for much of his work comes from the landscapes of Suffolk. ... read more
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