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Everything Is Strange
Categories: 20th Century, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (32 pages)
(Pub. Jul 1994)
Everything is always strange in the poetry of Frank Kuppner. His first Carcanet book was a single poem, A Bad Day for the Sung Dynasty (1984, Scottish Arts Council Book Award), running to 511 Oriental Quatrains, a kind of Procrustean Bed of Ware accommodating a multitude of four-line feelings, experiments, jests and characters. Then came The Intelligent Observation of Naked Women (1987), with five substantial poems including the `Five Quartets' and much else besides. In the 1989 collection Ridiculous, Absurd, Disgusting!, with its oblique glance at Rimbaud, he managed to include three poems, one in prose, one in verse, and one half-way between.
Everything is Strange consists of a collection of shorter poems and `In a Persian
Garden', `being a radically altered version of that Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam which Richard La Gallienne paraphrased
"from several literal translations" before the Great War; here now . . . revised, edited, rewritten and
Praise for Frank Kuppner 'Goodsir Smith, who drew from poetry from the Far East, shares Kuppner's nimble and fluid ability to code-switch and move from the sublime to the ridiculous in the space of a line or two. The difference is that Kuppner has managed to sustain this for the length of a book of some 120 pages, which is a feat to be marvelled at, and of course enjoyed.'
Richie McCaffery, The Bottle Imp
'He writes with the bemused urgency of someone who has only just noticed that nothing whatsoever makes any sense... Kuppner risks playing with bathos and sarcasm, outright silliness and sheer smut...'
Sunday Herald 'Kuppner's poetry invites us to reflect on human knowledge and the ineffable, trivial nature of existence; it is true philosophy. He makes us think about what it means to be alive.'
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