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Waiting for the Nightingale
Categories: 21st Century, British
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (112 pages)
(Pub. Apr 2017)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Apr 2017)
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Miles Burrows is a poet always in love, and confused – as lovers tend to be – by the inconstant nature of ‘the other’. In this, his second book of poems, published half a century after the first (A Vulture’s Egg, 1966), he is also aware, merrily for the most part, of mortality. Eros and Thanatos tap at his funny bone. Does God exist? he asks. Will the nightingale, the one right nightingale, sing?
The landscapes of these poems are drawn from the Far East, New Guinea and the Home Counties, where Burrows has served as a doctor, psychiatrist and a teacher. Thematically the poems build on Burrows’s eccentric childhood in a vanished but vividly reimagined, even re-invented England, rich in voices, disappointments and epiphanies and always maintaining a dialogue – now mischievous, now outrageous – with the present. The reader gratefully turns the pages, hoping the conversation will continue well beyond the back cover.
'A much travelled poet-doctor, he brings finesse, imagination and a fierce sense of humour to his work, synchronising the arts of comedy, storytelling and verse-making to remind us that there's a craft fundamental to all three - the craft of timing.'
Carol Rumens in The Poetry Review
'This is a lovely, dancing, waywardly humorous collection, easily the funniest book of poems about the raging nonsense of love that I have read in living memory'
Michael Glover, The Tablet
Praise for Miles Burrows 'Precisely timed narratives, the warmest entertaining poems opening sudden trapdoors to Chekhovian shocks of horror.'
Martina Evans, Irish Times Best Books of the Year 2021
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