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I'm filled with admiration for what you've achieved, and particularly for the hard work and the 'cottage industry' aspect of it.
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Edited by P.J. Kavanagh
ISBN: 978 0 192880 65 9
Categories: 20th Century
Published: February 2001
196 x 131 x 13 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Recognized as one of the most promising poets and composers of his time, Ivor Gurney's full creative gifts never reached fruition. Gurney trained as a composer with Herbert Howells at the Royal College of Music, composing his own work as well as setting others' compositions to lyrics. Despite his fractured mental health, Gurney continued writing and planning other books. This collection demonstrates his voice and skill as a poet.
Praise for Ivor Gurney 'I commend this collection...it reflects the sheer plentitude of Gurney's output. It is a joy to explore.'
Robert J. Yates, The Ivor Gurney Society Journal.
Praise for P.J. Kavanagh 'To hear the truth so devastatingly and yet so joyfully encountered is rare in an age where autobiography has been flattened by the massed weight of political and public reminiscence. This autobiography, from its beginning to its bitter end, is a celebration of joy: joy in youth, in woman, in male camaraderie, in the struggle of art, in married love.'
Times Literary Supplement 'There is plenty of quietly glittering intellect in these poems... he has an eye for rural things, birds, plants, weather; all are subdued to the colour of his own mind, its knowledge of loss, its recurrent perception of the world as a place to which it belongs and does not belong... this collection amply demonstrates Kavanagh's distinguished place among contemporary poets.'
Frank Kermode 'The pleasure of reading these poems is the pleasure of exceptionally good company. Kavanagh has exactly the right kind of curiosity - neither pedantic nor trifling, but casual in the best sense.'
Wynn Wheldon, Spectator 'There is plenty of quietly glittering intellect in these poems... he has an eye for rural things, birds, plants, weather; all are subdued to the colour of his own mind, its knowledge of loss, its recurrent perception of the world as a place to which it belongs and does not belong... this collection amply demonstrates Kavanagh's distinguished place among contemporary poets.'
Frank Kermode 'Though in many ways an obvious successor to Edward Thomas... P. J. Kavanagh has also much in common with Louis MacNeice, an essentially private and autobiographical poet... Kavanagh displays the same talent for a conversational tone, and shares MacNeice's fondness for rhyme, his love of echoes... he employs traditional forms while allowing himself a relaxed freedom regarding line-length and metre (not to be mistaken for a lack of craft). The parallels should not be overstressed, however; Kavanagh is decidedly his own man with his own interestsand concerns. For one thing, religion takes the place of politics for him, though his attitude to belief reveals something of that critical fastidiousness MacNeice maintained towards the political orthodoxies of his day...'
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