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Swimming Chenango Lake

Selected Poems

Charles Tomlinson

Edited by David Morley

Swimming Chenango lake Cover
RRP: GBP 11.99
Available
eBook (EPUB)
ISBN: 978 1 784106 80 5
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, British
Imprint: Carcanet Classics
Published: November 2018
192 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • William Carlos Williams valued Charles Tomlinson’s poetry: ‘He has divided his line according to a new measure learned, perhaps, for a new world. It gives a refreshing rustle or seething to the words which bespeak the entrance of a new life.’ Of all the poets of his generation, Charles Tomlinson was most alert to English and translated poetry from other worlds. The Mexican poet Octavio Paz admired how he saw ‘the world as event... He is fascinated – with his eyes open: a lucid fascination – by the universal busyness, the continuous generation and degeneration of things.’ Tomlinson’s take on the world is sensuous; it is also deeply thoughtful, even metaphysical. He spoke of ‘sensuous cerebration’ as a way of being in the world. His poems are always experimenting with impression and expression. This dynamic selection, edited by the poet and Ted Hughes Award winner David Morley, presents Tomlinson to a new generation of readers.
    Charles Tomlinson
    Charles Tomlinson, born in 1927, studied at Queens’ College, Cambridge. He has published many books of poetry, and has translated selections from Russian, Spanish and Italian. He is also an artist. He taught at Bristol University, where he was appointed Emeritus Professor of English Poetry. He edited The Oxford Book ... read more
    David Morley
    David Morley is a poet and ecologist. He won the Ted Hughes Award for The Invisible Gift: Selected Poems, the judges commenting, ‘Ted Hughes wrote about the natural magical and mythical world; The Invisible Gift is a natural successor’. His Carcanet collections include The Magic of What’s There, The ... read more
    Awards won by Charles Tomlinson Winner, 2003 New Criterion Poetry Prize (Skywriting)
    Awards won by David Morley Short-listed, 2020 The Forward Prize for Best Collection (FURY) Winner, 2015 Poetry Society Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry (The Invisible Gift )
    'Charles Tomlinson has been probably the foremost poet of truly international distinction writing in England between the 1950s and the opening years of the Twenty-first Century.'

    Ian Brinton, Tears in the Fence

     'It is entirely appropriate that David Morley should have chosen the title Swimming Chenango Lake for this book and the poem of that name, written in September 1967, stands as 'Prologue' to a volume which will at last place Charles Tomlinson's name at the forefront of the poetry of the twentieth century.'
    Ian Brinton, The London Magazine

    'Tomlinson was a wide-ranging poet. His technical scope includes free form and more traditional structures, and he is a master of both. They cohabit enrichingly in Swimming Chenango Lake... a finely chosen collection for existing enthusiasts and an excellent introduction for newcomers.'
    Carol Rumens, The Guardian
    '€˜His poetry stuns us by its formal rigour, its punctiliousness, its syntactical mastery, its long, building effects. Unmissable.'€™
    Michael Glover, The Tablet
    'Tomlinson is one of the most astute, disciplined, and lucent poets of his generation. His quiet, meditative voice will reverberate on both sides of the Atlantic for a long time to come.'
    Edward Hirsch
    Praise for Charles Tomlinson 'Tomlinson's work and his new volume achieve balance, synthesis and wonderful expression. Add to this that he is also very funny, and I trust you have abandoned any reason not to buy the book. Let's be proud of him.'
    David Morley, the Guardian
    'Tomlinson has an international reputation as a poet and translator. He is also a painter and brings his artist's eye to his poetry, drawing out exact lines, creating luminous imagery that is still touched by a sense of mystery. Please read him...his collection Seeing is Believing is one of my all-time favourites.'
    Sion Hamilton, The Bookseller pick of 2006.
    'He has divided his line according to a new measure learned, perhaps, for a new world. It gives a refreshing rustle or seething to the words which bespeak the entrance of a new life'.
    William Carlos Williams
    'Against the word as spectacle, Tomlinson opposes the concept -- a very English one -- of the world as event...He is fascinated -- with his eyes open: a lucid fascination -- by the universal busyness, the continuous generation and degeneration of things'.
    Octavio Paz
    'Tomlinson insists, and he has a right to insist, that he is as authentic a voice of modern Britain as Larkin is. Only in the great poets is content so intimately married to form'.
    Donald Davie
    Praise for David Morley  
    'In FURY, Morley's concerns combine as never before into a keening, politicised call to pay attention to the missing, the lost, and the deliberately elided [...] Morley's trademark fusion of Romani and English "Angloromani" forges afresh his lyric gifts'

    Sinead Morrissey, PBS Autumn Bulletin

    'The poems of FURY are acts of radical connection across cultures and language [...] FURY comes with a hard political edge too, in elegies for cultural loss: "All the nameless people named here. / The story ends with who we were."'

    Aingeal Clare, The Guardian

    'In this daring new collection, Morley holds a mirror up to the myriad of irresponsible ways that we as humans influence the natural world and how we treat one another [...] Threaded with Romanes - as Morley's poems often are - this is a celebration of the Roma tongue as well as the people and places gone by [..] To read Fury is to tread a pilgrimage along the oldest putèka. To know these paths is to be compelled to walk them again, to feel the trembling pride for our ethnicity and to sing once more of home.'

    Jo Clement, Travellers Times

          'Exuberant, linguistically experimental poems... his work has affinities with Hughes's attention to both the surfaces and depths of the natural world.'
    Jeff Gundy, Poetry Salzburg Review
     'David Morley can work in more than one mode... no subject is off limits here'
    Harry Cochrane, TLS
    'Morley is a master of the integrity of wholes and parts. A fabulous collection of poems...'
    Dundee University Review of the Arts


     'Like opening a box of fireworks, something theatrical happens when you open its pages ... Ted Hughes wrote about the natural magical and mythical world; The Invisible Gift is a natural successor.'
    Ali Smith, Andrew McMillan & Jackie Kay, Ted Hughes Award judges.
    'David Morley takes us on a voyage to the other half of his heritage. In a serial masterpiece of macaronic verse, he shows us a life intimate with our own...yet more deeply Other than romantic fairytales or even authentic music from Spain and Eastern Europe had suggested it might be. He holds our world up to a language mostly kept secret up to now...the refraction of the familiar is dizzying yet often moving.'
    Les Murray
    'T'he strange atmospherics suffuse every page while the balance struck between mystery and disclosure can be breathtaking...Such moments led me to feel that Morley had not so much created a new universe as uncovered one. Any universe is bound together by language; and Morley brings Romany vocabulary fizzing and crackling into our consciousness'
    Tim Liardet, Guardian
    'A rare and beautiful book.'
    The Guardian on The Invisible Kings (2007)
    'Here are two outsiders working at poetry from the underside of nature, Clare now in a brown huff, Wisdom snaring a warren with a snigger of wires. Using a mixture of sonnets, Romani language, concrete poetry, and the dynamics of birdsong, Morley conjures a marvellous sense of nature as intimacy, something precise yet loaded and of immense importance to us.'
    George Szirtes
    'Enchantment by David Morley is a linguistic feast...'
    Jonathan Bate Sunday Telegraph Books Of The Year 2010
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