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One, Two

Angela Leighton

Cover of One, Two by Angela Leighton
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Categories: 21st Century, British, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (154 pages)
(Pub. Jan 2021)
9781800170162
£12.99 £11.69
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Jan 2021)
9781800170179
£10.39 £9.35
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  • Description
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • In 'Pickpocket, Naples', a sonnet sequence reflecting on her Neapolitan background, Angela Leighton imagines a poem 'surprised in the act of finding itself'. Constantly alert to such surprises, One, Two moves from memory-scapes of childhood to elegies for her mother, quirky tributes to the creatures of the natural world to anguished poems about breath and breathlessness in times of coronavirus. Some of these poems are in formal stanzas; others catch the spaced freedom of dream or day-dream. Above all, this is a poetry which insists on the rhythmic footstep that walks in words, on the 'one, two' of a beat in language, whether the steps of a dance or the daily countdowns of sickness and death. The volume ends with some translations of the poetry of Dante and Pirandello which, either strictly or more freely, test the limits of translation.

    This is Leighton's fifth volume of poetry, and shows once again her characteristic sense of wit, music and formal invention.
    Angela Leighton was born in Wakefield, educated in Edinburgh and Oxford, and has taught at the universities of Hull and Cambridge. The daughter of a Yorkshire (composer) father and a Neapolitan mother, she has always recognised her heritage of mixed languages and conflicting standpoints. Perhaps for this reason her work has ... read more
    'Leighton's playful, imaginative language gives rise to form that is ingeniously attentive to the strange coincidences, chance encounters, and arbitrary correspondences of which a life is constituted.'

    Joseph Turner, Oxford Review of Books

    Praise for Angela Leighton 'This is artful, precise, thoughtful and quite often beautiful poetry... Leighton combines all her considerable strengths: precise, allusive density of expression; deft aural music; a flair for creating new forms; and a huge descriptive talent.'
    Victoria Moul, The Friday Poem
    'One of the strengths, however, of Angela Leighton's new volume, her sixth, is its awareness of forgetful rememberings like this... It's an exciting, experimental effect.'
    Hugh Barnes, The Arts Desk
    'Its lasting impression is a renewed awareness of poetry's manifold reach.'
    The TLS


    'Outstanding among the excellent ... the poems ring like bells.'
    Anne Stevenson
     'Angela Leighton's genre-defying book -- poetry, memoir, experiment in translation in its many and often surprising senses -- explores with beautiful precision what she calls the 'two-ply tongue', a suggestive metaphor for the way we speak and think and write.'
    Patrick McGuinness
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