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Categories: 21st Century, British, Christianity, Welsh
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (246 pages)
(Pub. Nov 2021)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Nov 2021)
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Collected Poems contains the previously published poetry of Rowan Williams, together with a significant body of new work. Also included are his celebrated translations from Welsh, German and Russian poetry.
His earlier collections have included pieces prompted by the landscape and literature of West Wales, and a sequence of poems on the varieties of love in the plays of Shakespeare. This Collected adds a sequence commissioned for the fiftieth anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, tributes to writers as different as Alan Garner and John Milton, and a reflection on sculptures by Antony Gormley. The book reflects the poet's wide range of interest and the variety of poetic mediums he has explored. His poems continue to respond vividly to the visual arts, and to the experience and imagination of 'pre-modern' cultures, as well as to the crises and tragedies of our time. He continues to read with uncanny clarity the signs that are manifest in nature and history. Imagination working through language brings us as close as we can get to our condition. 'I dislike the idea of being a religious poet,' he says. 'I would prefer to be a poet for whom religious things mattered intensely.'
'By his own account, Williams would wish to be "a poet for whom religious things mattered intensely". This handsome, electrically charged collection confirms the truth of his aspiration...a poet attentive to language's precise and disconcerting magic.'
Rachel Mann, Church Times
'These are poems of great contraries: they are stark, yet there is great hope in their bleakness; they are scholarly, yet there is simplicity beyond their scholarship; they come from head and heart. Not the priest, but the poet, bids you find comfort in their uncomfortable words. We badly need the gift of these poems.'
Praise for Rowan Williams 'His poetry opens windows on a rich and restless imagination.'
Boyd Tonkin, Independent 'Reading this poet, at such a period in our history, is like feeling the first drops of rain after a long season of drought.'
A.N. Wilson, Daily Telegraph
'It's serious, craftsmanly writing on faith, history and mortality - it's the real thing.'
Sean O'Brien, Independent
'The handful of truly successful poems here marry [Williams'] terse precision with an unwavering search for the truth, whatever it is, however elusive it might be' - 'While the dark melts''
Times Literary Supplement 18.12.2015
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