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Chance of a Storm
10% off Paperback
Categories: 21st Century, British
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (80 pages)
(Pub. Nov 2015)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Nov 2015)
(Pub. Nov 2015)
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I have this feeling for poetry
that it will give away my position.
It is one small step for you and me
one giant leap for librarians,
in sore need of boarding this craft
whose sails can never be trimmed.
from 'Assange Militia'
For Rod Mengham sculpture and painting exist in the world the way poems do. He invokes the Polish sculptor Katarzyna Kobro, who believes that sculpture must be understood as part of the world around it. In Chance of a Storm, poetry is language that comes trailing bits of other forms of speech and writing. ‘Poems should be finished, but be still hot to the touch, giving a vivid sense of the thinking and feeling that went into their creation,’ he says. Drew Milne speaks of the poems’ ‘beautiful, belligerent laconicism’. While the lyric is central to Mengham’s work, it cannot shrug off the ambition of epic, scaled down but still latent. This telescoping informs the structure of these poems, a species of modernist fable.
'What's moving about Chance of a Storm is the way the title probes into each poem and each poem illuminates the title, across a very wide landscape of despair and hope. What chance is there of a storm when we see only what we see? These poems exist to create that chance, and the hope of cracking complacency open. They have an angry but generous ear for past echoes, and the sound of them being sealed airtight in the moments we're living.'
Timothy Mathews, Professor of French and Comparative Criticism, University College London 'These careful and intriguing poems will require turning over and over before they give up their secrets.'
David Wheatley, TLS Praise for Rod Mengham 'Lucid, percipient essays... Despite its limpid style, Mengham's writing is not always easy - but nor are the ramifications of the works he is engaging with. Most of the essays are only a few pages long, but within a compressed space, he plumbs vertiginous depths of meaning.'
James Cahill, Times Literary Supplement
'Some of the worst contemporary art criticism hides behind a nebulous idea of poetic sensibility. One of the many reasons that Rod Mengham is such a compelling writer on art is the clarity of thought and the fine-tuned nature of his sensibilities as both poet and critic. I've never read a dull sentence of his and I've always wanted to read whatever he has to say about artists - from those I admire deeply to those about whom I know little or nothing. He's amongst the very best (and equally one of the most under-rated) writers on art of his generation.'
'He is particularly adept at discovering one place in another: finding Albania in Uxbridge... mapping ancient walkways of southern England onto the Australian Bush, or viewing Polish Constructivism in Cambridge... Inhabiting Art makes for an out-of-the-way tour in the company of a guide who is unusually scrupulous, keen-sighted and alive to the less routinely observed.'
William Wooten, TLS
'We make a world and in turn it makes us. Mengham's understanding of history as a living, evolving, ever present material template onto which experience can be inscribed and evaluated makes this collection of essays and his evocation of Grimspound so special.'
'Mengham is an extraordinary flâneur. The astonishing detail he collates as he wanders confers Art and artfulness in the ordinary.... A fluid and convincing conduit to recognition as much as to understanding, his sentences are a joy to relish'
Steve Whitaker, The Yorkshire Times
The Carcanet Blog the clarity of distant things: Jane Duran read more On the Way to Jerusalem Farm: Carola Luther read more Notes on Field Requiem: Sheri Benning read more Windows on Translation: P.C. Evans read more Virga: Togara Muzanenhamo read more Midnight in the Kant Hotel: Rod Mengham read more
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