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Collected Poems

Ivor Gurney

Edited by P.J. Kavanagh

Cover Picture of Collected Poems
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857547 09 2
Categories: 20th Century, War writings
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Published: February 2004
220 x 140 x 36 mm
320 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
  • Description
  • Editor
  • Reviews
  • P.J. Kavanagh's 1982 edition of the 'Collected Poems established Ivor Gurney (1890-1937) as one of the most original poets of the early twentieth century. His experiences in the First World War, his love of his native Gloucestershire countryside were sources of a unique poetic voice: Vigorous, lyrical and passionate.

    In this new, substantially revised edition, Gurney can be enjoyed in his entirety by a new generation of readers. The poems have been re-ordered to take into account new work on Gurney, the texts corrected from the archive and editorial material substantially revised, while retaining P.J. Kavanagh's extensive original introduction.

    To many readers, the 1982 edition was a revelation. Re-reading Gurney, writes P.J. Kavanagh, 'is to be reminded how miraculously good he can be: his celebration of the ordinary, his eye for detail, his musical ear that combines traditional rhythms with the unpredictable...'


    P.J. Kavanagh
    P.J. Kavanagh was born in England in 1931, and has worked as a lecturer, actor and broadcaster, as well as a writer. His Collected Poems were published in 1992, the year in which he was given the Cholmondeley Award for poetry. His memoir The Perfect Stranger won the Richard Hillary Prize ... read more
    Praise for Ivor Gurney 'I commend this collection...it reflects the sheer plentitude of Gurney's output. It is a joy to explore.'
    Robert J. Yates, The Ivor Gurney Society Journal.

    Praise for P.J. Kavanagh 'To hear the truth so devastatingly and yet so joyfully encountered is rare in an age where autobiography has been flattened by the massed weight of political and public reminiscence. This autobiography, from its beginning to its bitter end, is a celebration of joy: joy in youth, in woman, in male camaraderie, in the struggle of art, in married love.'
    Times Literary Supplement 
    'There is plenty of quietly glittering intellect in these poems... he has an eye for rural things, birds, plants, weather; all are subdued to the colour of his own mind, its knowledge of loss, its recurrent perception of the world as a place to which it belongs and does not belong... this collection amply demonstrates Kavanagh's distinguished place among contemporary poets.'
    Frank Kermode
    'The pleasure of reading these poems is the pleasure of exceptionally good company. Kavanagh has exactly the right kind of curiosity - neither pedantic nor trifling, but casual in the best sense.'
    Wynn Wheldon, Spectator
    'There is plenty of quietly glittering intellect in these poems... he has an eye for rural things, birds, plants, weather; all are subdued to the colour of his own mind, its knowledge of loss, its recurrent perception of the world as a place to which it belongs and does not belong... this collection amply demonstrates Kavanagh's distinguished place among contemporary poets.'
    Frank Kermode
     'Though in many ways an obvious successor to Edward Thomas... P. J. Kavanagh has also much in common with Louis MacNeice, an essentially private and autobiographical poet... Kavanagh displays the same talent for a conversational tone, and shares MacNeice's fondness for rhyme, his love of echoes... he employs traditional forms while allowing himself a relaxed freedom regarding line-length and metre (not to be mistaken for a lack of craft). The parallels should not be overstressed, however; Kavanagh is decidedly his own man with his own interestsand concerns. For one thing, religion takes the place of politics for him, though his attitude to belief reveals something of that critical fastidiousness MacNeice maintained towards the political orthodoxies of his day...'
    Simon Rae
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