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Collected Poems

C.H. Sisson

Cover Picture of Collected Poems
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Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
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(Pub. Jul 2012)
9781847776273
£25.00 £22.50
Paperback (544 pages)
(Pub. Aug 1998)
9781857543797
£25.00 £22.50
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  • 'His poems move in service of the loved landscapes of England and France; they sing (and growl) in love of argument, in love of seeing through, in love of the firm description of moral self-disgust, they move in love of the old lost life by which the new life is condemned.'

    Donald Hall, New York Times Book Review.

    When C.H. Sisson was 20, he gave up writing poems. He began once more in his 30s under the stress of war-time, stationed in India. Verse came intermittently, exiguously; the bulk of his early writing in translation ('fishing in other men's waters' he calls it), prose essays and fiction. In the 1960s his poems began to appear.

    The London Zoo - his first major book - was published in 1961 when the poet was 47. Since that time his place has grown secure: he is one of the few direct English heirs of the great Modernists, a poet who grounds the enormous energies of that movement in English landscapes, especially those of Somerset, and reconciles the legacies of Eliot and Pound on the one hand and of Hardy and Edward Thomas on the other. The epigraph of his 1984 Collected Poems, which this volume updates and corrects, was from John Gower:

    O gentile Engleterre, a toi j'escrits.
    Born in Bristol in 1914, C. H. Sisson was noted as a poet, novelist, essayist and an important translator. He was a great friend of the critic and writer Donald Davie, with whom he corresponded regularly. Sisson was a student at the University of Bristol where he read English and Philosophy. ... read more
    Praise for C.H. Sisson `His poems move in service of the loved landscapes of England and France; they sing (and growl) in love of argument, in love of seeing through, in love of the firm descriptions of moral self-disgust; they move in love of the old lost life by which the new life is condemned.'
    Donald Hall, New York Times Book Review
    'I think he is worth a place on the short shelf reserved for the finest twentieth-century poets, with Eliot and Rilke and MacDiarmid.'
    Robert Nye, the Scotsman
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