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The Pleasure Steamers

Andrew Motion

Cover Picture of The Pleasure Steamers
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Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (64 pages)
(Pub. Jan 1978)
9780856352478
£4.95 £4.46
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  • Today your letter with its usual banter of strangeness
    - the forty years exile makes you write
    'Napoli' now, without joking - until the postscript
    'What would you say? Shall I come back?'

    Was that unhurried? Or did you catch sight
    over the quilted roofs of the steamer
    returning here again? I know how it looks;
    the rails freckled with figures who see

    their wake scrawl itself out, and then,
    beyond it, the hills reduced to mist
    where they made their journeys, holidays,
    abandoned attempts at a life.

    from 'Letter to an Exile'

    Former Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion's first collection of poems was published by Carcanet more than thirty years ago, in 1978. Its subjects are politics, relationships, geographies and the inescapable legacies of the past. The sequences 'Inland' and 'Anniversaries' stand alongside sharp lyrics which display control, delicacy and flare, hallmarks of the work of the poet from the very beginning.


    ANDREW MOTION was born in 1952. Educated at University College, Oxford, he has taught at various universities including Hull, where he met Philip Larkin, later the subject of his prize-winning biography. He is now Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, biographer, poet, critic and former Poet Laureate. ... read more
    'The Pleasure Steamers is an impressive book.'
    Times Literary Supplement
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