Carcanet Press Logo
Quote of the Day
It is impossible to imagine literary life in Britain without Carcanet.
William Boyd

Birdsong on Mars

Jon Glover

Cover of Birdsong on Mars by Jon Glover
10% off all versions
Categories: 21st Century, British
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (160 pages)
(Pub. Aug 2020)
9781784109752
£11.99 £10.79
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Aug 2020)
9781784109769
£9.59 £8.63
eBook (Kindle)
(Pub. Aug 2020)
9781784109776
£9.59 £8.63
Digital access available through Exact Editions
To use the EPUB version, you will need to have Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) installed on your device. You can find out more at https://www.adobe.com/uk/solutions/ebook/digital-editions.html. Please do not purchase this version if you do not have, or are prepared to install, Adobe Digital Editions.
Amazon LogoOr, buy the Kindle version directly from Amazon
  • Description
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • The teasing title poem of this book is about weather. Rain falls, wind cracks its cheeks as in Lear; the noises are drops like kisses falling, 'fallen into birdsong on Mars'. What would it sound like, be like, to hear it? The poem wants to know what it can't yet know. But as the book proceeds, the poet - on a human heath, tormented by loss - hears something like it, unearthly sounds on a planet without atmosphere, sound making quite another kind of sense.

    Jon Glover wrote most of the poems in this collection before his wife's sudden death from cancer in 2019. He developed the themes and fragmenting style of his previous book, Glass is Elastic (2012), where language was always quizzing itself and how it might relate to the actual and the historical world. Intense, playful, unpredictable, the poems surprised. Here, in the disturbing environments of Upstate New York, Calgary Bay or his Bolton front room the poet confronts illness (his own), hospitals (his visits) and wonderful ambulances (his transports). He resists attempts to see hints or destinies.

    Then bereavement throws up an actuality of a different order. The collection ends with a mock-sonnet sequence, written during the pandemic, in which the poet tries all the doors and windows to find her, to speak with her - love poems where love has not changed but its circumstances have. 'Will I want ever to get out of this place - the past of the poems in this book?' the poet asks. There are no answers, yet.
    Jon Glover was born in Sheffield in 1943 and grew up in south London. He studied English and Philosophy at the University of Leeds, where he met Jon Silkin and began a long association with Stand magazine, of which he is now Managing Editor. Jon Glover is an Honorary Fellow of ... read more
    Praise for Jon Glover  'Magnetic Resonance Imaging by Jon Glover is my book of the year'
    Ian McMillan, The Verb, BBC Radio 3 (December 2008)
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog New Poetries VIII: Jenny Lewis on Parwana Fayyaz read more Angela Leighton: One, Two read more Parwana Fayyaz: NPVIII: Meet the Contributor read more New Poetries VIII: Sinad Morrissey on Conor Cleary read more The Earliest Witnesses: G.C. Waldrep read more Conor Cleary: NPVIII: Meet the Contributor read more
Find your local bookshop logo
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2021 Carcanet Press Ltd