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The Pleasure Steamers
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (64 pages)
(Pub. Jan 1978)
Today your letter with its usual banter of strangeness
- the forty years exile makes you write
'Napoli' now, without joking - until the postscript
'What would you say? Shall I come back?'
Was that unhurried? Or did you catch sight
over the quilted roofs of the steamer
returning here again? I know how it looks;
the rails freckled with figures who see
their wake scrawl itself out, and then,
beyond it, the hills reduced to mist
where they made their journeys, holidays,
abandoned attempts at a life.
from 'Letter to an Exile'
Former Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion's first collection of poems was published by Carcanet more than thirty years ago, in 1978. Its subjects are politics, relationships, geographies and the inescapable legacies of the past. The sequences 'Inland' and 'Anniversaries' stand alongside sharp lyrics which display control, delicacy and flare, hallmarks of the work of the poet from the very beginning.
'The Pleasure Steamers is an impressive book.'
Times Literary Supplement
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