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Timely Issues

Elizabeth Jennings

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RRP: GBP£ 6.95
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Price: GBP£ 6.25
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857545 15 9
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: June 2001
216 x 135 x 13 mm
288 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Reviews
  • ... He hangs upon the Cross and I seek words
    And how they can be lifted into prayer.
    The soldiers come with hammers and with
    swords
    And flies are buzzing in the blinding air.
    Should I seek opposites as Herbert did
    To reach the truth: I need the spirit to
    Leap through flesh...


    from 'Prayer: Homage to George Herbert'

               
    In her long experimental poem 'Concerning History' from her 1998 collec-tion Praises, Elizabeth Jennings asks,
    'Does history tell love-stories? 'The answer as she, like her mentor Robert Graves, knows is yes, if the poet listens carefully. Out of lives which history mistreats, out of crisis, out of innocence and out of religious faith emerge love stories. Like Rilke, her task is to praise, as a lover praises, the things made, the makers and the Maker.

    All of Elizabeth Jennings's later poetry has been an act of prayer and praise. Things are no longer overlooked, the daily world is suffused with another light, ancient and steadily sourced. Her sonnets, sequences, lyric poems and elegies are the work of a writer endlessly curious about the human creature and its spiritual dimensions.
    Praise for Elizabeth Jennings 'Anyone who likes poetry will love it if you get them Carcanet's Collected Poems of Elizabeth Jennings. It costs a bit but you do get well over 1,000 poems, with barely a duff one; heck, you could even give it to someone who doesn't like poetry, and suggest it will change their mind.'
    Nicholas Lezard, the Guardian, 1st December, 2012
    'But there is no sterility here: I defy you to read "A Living Death" and not be on the verge of tears by the end of it ("I am caught up / Within a death that does not die") This is a supremely dippable-into book. Its bulk is liberating, not intimidating.'
    Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian, Tuesday 3rd April, 2012.
    'it contains some of the finest lyric poetry of the 20th century'
    Anne Stevenson, The Sunday Times, September 14th 1986
    'in an agnostic age it is daring to write poems of religious rhapsody and more daring still to write as if the making of poems were a sacred activity.'
    James Aitchison, The Glasgow Herald, May 7th 1989
    'Her poetry ... conveys a strength of feeling and sincerity that few contemporary poets can match.'
    Tom Velickovic, The Bookseller, September 16th 1994
    'a pleasure, as well as a poetic education, to read'
    Gwyneth Lewis, Poetry Review, Volume 84 no 4, Winter 1994
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