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The Day and other poems
ISBN: 978 1 857548 60 0
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: April 2006
216 x 135 x 6 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
With a glance I sent myself out to the furthest edge.
The sea, whispering, was my bloodstream.
All there, all one,
A glitter, a certainty, land and sea extended -
Body of the world, to which my senses were given.
The Day and other poems develops and expands the explorations of Robert Wells's previous collections, demonstrating a mature poet at the height of his craft. Meditating upon erotic and rural themes, it culminates in a poetic affirmation of the unending power of language.
The collection, Wells' first since 1999, consists of short, highly wrought poems divided into four sections: the first documents the poet's experience as an Exmoor forester; the second is a sequence set in the Sabine hills in central Italy; the third section takes as its theme erotic friendship; and the miscellany of the fourth section mixes anecdote and satirical epigram with compacted memories of travel. The book is characterized by its various portrait-poems, which in their different ways address the opposition between the desire for openness and the desire for isolation. The power of language to illuminate realities is the overriding impression created by these poems, but it operates amid a play of light and shade, reserve and unreserve.
'Robert Wells understands how finely man and nature are moulded to each other...The healing loneliness of hills and waters, and the solitary figures who move among them...are the setting and characters of Wells' poems.'
George Mackay Brown.
Praise for Robert Wells 'Robert Wells understands how finely man and nature are moulded to each other... The healing loneliness of hills and waters, and the solitary figures who move among them - bathers, wood-cutters, hay harvesters - are the setting and characters of Wells's poems.'
George Mackay Brown 'Wells is a quiet poet... he inherits the tender, threatening profundity of Edward Thomas.'
'Robert Wells's language is exact, the experience of the poem is deeply gone through, there is a constant desire to adhere to the truth as he apprehended it rather than to glamorize it. The inexpressible becomes expressed. At one point I started marking my favourite poems, but I like so many of them that I gave up.'
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