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The Gypsy and the Poet

David Morley

Cover of The Gypsy and the Poet by David Morley
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
ISBN: 978 1 847771 24 7
Categories: 21st Century, Art, British
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: August 2013
210 x 130 x 8 mm
78 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), eBook (EPUB), eBook (PDF)
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  • ‘Do you ever tell lies, Wisdom?’ ‘All the long day through, brother,’
    laughs the Gypsy. He lights his long pipe beneath his hat’s brim.
    ‘But the brassest of lies’ – the Gypsy plucks – ‘are like this heather:
    a charm against visible harm and’ – he crushes it – ‘invisible harm.’
    And the friends look at each other across the invisible stage of grass.

    from ‘The Act’
    Beginning with the real-life encounter between the poet John Clare and a Gypsy named Wisdom Smith, David Morley reinvigorates the sonnet sequence to stage the fellowship that develops between the two men. We see the Gypsy and the poet banter, argue and teach each other lessons; work, love, and lose what they have loved. The central section of the book enacts Clare’s own belief in the creative forms of nature itself: ‘I found the poems in the fields / And only wrote them down’.
    The Invisible Gift 

    The Gypsy
    Wisdom Smith Pitches his Bender on Emmonsales Heath, 1819 
    The Ditch 
    John Clare’s Notes 
    A Walk 
    The Gamekeeper 
    The Gypsy’s Evening Blaze 
    The Magic Stone 
    Wisdom Smith Shows John Clare the Right Notes and the Wrong 
    First Love 
    The Invisible Fair 
    The Hedgehog 
    Second Love 
    A Spring Wife 
    Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery 
    A Steeple-Climber 
    A Picture of Eternity Drawn in Crayons 
    Wisdom Smith Shakes John Clare’s Hand 
    A Prayer 

    World's Eye
    The Boy and the Wren 
    On Not Rushing at Waterfalls 
    & Son 
    Leaf Letters 
    Barden Tower 
    A Butterfly Emerges from the Poems of E.B. 
    Fruit Fly 
    Ballad of the Moon, Moon 
    Pallid Swift 
    Foxes, Swans, Starlings 
    Marriage Vows of a Rom to a Gadji
    Sessile and Strid 

    The Poet
    The Pen 
    An Olive-Green Coat 
    My Children 
    The Spared 
    The Souls 
    A Bivouac 
    The Ring 
    Last Love 
    A Flitting 
    Tenant of Leaves & Flowers & Glossy Stalks 
    King of Cormorants 
    The Friend of All Friends 
    The Strayed 
    The Act 
    The Gypsy and the Poet 

    David Morley is an ecologist and naturalist by background. His poetry has won fourteen writing awards and prizes, including the Templar Poetry Prize, the Poetry Business Competition, an Arts Council of England Writer’s Award, an Eric Gregory Award, the Raymond Williams Prize and a Hawthornden Fellowship. His previous collection The Invisible ... read more
    Awards won by David Morley Winner, 2015 Poetry Society Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry (The Invisible Gift )
    '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
    Praise for David Morley       '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
    'Enchantment by David Morley is a linguistic feast...'
    Jonathan Bate Sunday Telegraph Books Of The Year 2010
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