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Deceiving Wild Creatures

Jeremy Over

Deceiving Wild Creatures by Jeremy Over
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Categories: 21st Century, British, Humour
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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(Pub. Jan 2012)
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(Pub. Sep 2009)
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  • I have no acquaintance at present among the gentlemen of the Navy.
    I have no friend left now at Sunbury.

    What you mention with regard to reclaimed toads
    raises my curiosity.

                                       from 'The enlargement of the boundaries'
    The naturalist Gilbert White is at the heart of this collection. Like him, Jeremy Over explores an ecology with meticulous acuity. His poems are 'found in the field': the beauty and oddity of the language of others is brought into sharp focus.

    Robert Herrick's 'sweet disorder in the dress' is subjected to a series of disrobings; a guidebook, instruction manual and catalogue become occasions to celebrate the pleasures of language. Setting out from White's Natural History of Selborne, Over embarks on a sequence of poems that, in White's words, lend 'an helping hand towards the enlargement of the boundaries' of natural history. A deep seam of Englishness - Stanley Spencer, Samuel Palmer, Henry Purcell - runs parallel to an American dimension, and further off in time and space are traces of Tristan Tzara, Rumi and Wang Wei. The reasonable language with which we try to contain the unreasonableness of things here trips, spins and flies into new figurations.

    Cover photograph: Shouldering the imitation ox from 'Deceiving Wild Creatures' in Richard Kearton, Wild Nature's Ways (1909). Cover design by

    ...and they lived happily until they died.    
    Museum for Myself    
    A Theory of Grasp    
    A New Kind of Kiss
    Love is not a talent
    Badly Charred    
    Delight in      order    
    Killer in the Rain    
    A Common Pitfall    
    Poetry should be made by all (i)    
    The Lambent Itch of Innuendo    
    Whip Tim Kelly
    Last Gasp, At the    
    The Waterfall Illusion    
    The Negatives    
    American Experimental Music    


    The enlargement of the boundaries    
    Not but now and then     
    The exhibition of the fishes    
    Mingles with the forest    
    I only know that
    Cursu undoso    
    My female moose corresponds    
    of roads.    
    Hard references   


    Your Awful Voice    
    And some    
    Poem beginning with a suggestion by Bengt Af Klintberg    
    Being big
    The Call of the Drum and the Slap of Glory    
    Kabir says    
    A Man in the Wings    
    The Yellow Orioles are equals now    
    Birthday Haibun    
    Several Senryu    
    The North Cumbrian Coast    
    Noses and Feet    
    Leaving me    
    Poetry should be made by all (ii)

    Jeremy Over was born in Leeds in 1961. His poetry was first published in New Poetries II . There followed two Carcanet collections, A Little Bit of Bread and No Cheese and Deceiving Wild Creatures . He currently lives on a hill near Llanidloes in the middle of Wales. ... read more
    Awards won by Jeremy Over Short-listed, 2020 The Wales Poetry Book of the Year (Fur Coats in Tahiti)
    'A restless experimenter and game-player with language'
    Ian McMillan, The Reader
    Praise for Jeremy Over  It is this nothing offered that makes Fur Coats in Tahiti such a rewarding read, because it leads to destinations unknown, a restless, constantly moving walk after not knowledge, but illumination, the unexpected relationship between word and word that opens a window to the world. It is, I realise as I write, a kind of Dada Zen book; what more can I say?
    Billy Mills

     'They also seem magical. Like magic words, or Latin mass: more powerful for all its uncertainty.'
    Joe Darlington, Manchester Review of Books
     'Joyous panoplies of alphabets warble, blossom and assemble into word songs made simultaneously stately and playful here in Fur Coats in Tahiti. Folklore and plainsong play with Stein and then Whitman comes over, inviting so many alphabetic others to join in: Wordsworth via Jandl via Atkins via Ono via You makes something entirely new! Over's marvelous word worlds mesh and refresh all our delights in loving thinking musics of sound, sense and nonce. Slip on this luxurious garment of a book where the language weather is always perfect.'
    Lee Ann Brown
     'In Fur Coats in Tahiti, Jeremy Over exuberantly defies expectations. These poems rollick as they explore relationships between sound and sense, interweave the surreal and the mundane, and conduct whimsical, unpredictable journeys. The work teems with intelligence and delight.'
    Carrie Etter
    'I am in love with the new collection by Jeremy Over, building as it does on the work of his first two books with so much style and grace. The poems are in thrall to the magic of the image, exquisite timing and exuberant ambivalence. Which latter, for me, articulates exactly why dull certainties and conciliatory platitudes tend to sail over my head. Over's is a poetry of endless curiosity and intellectual generosity, inviting us to wander and wonder with the writer. The long poems and sequences capture a quality of musical improvisation, but the attention is pulled back, again and again, by unexpected lyrical detail; as if distraction (by beauty, by stupidity, by wonder) were the only true method. And it is.'
    Luke Kennard
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