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an admirable concern to keep lines open to writing in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and America.
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Categories: 20th Century, British, First Collections
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (80 pages)
(Pub. Jun 1994)
There is a place in sleep, you hold it
like the locked space inside a tabernacle
filled with the radio sounds of childhood,
the grass-bitters taste of infatuations
you never outgrew, but packed away like old
certificates or school reports.
In The Hoop, his first book of poems, John Burnside takes his bearings from Celtic mythology and from landscape, especially that of Gloucestershire. 'The things that contribute to how I work are botanical texts and drawings, fairy stories, Celtic and Romance literature.' The originality of his work lies in its themes - stewardship of the land, a sense that landscape by being described is being valued and preserved - and in his disciplined eye and ear.
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