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The Swerve

Julith Jedamus

The Swerve
RRP: GBP 9.95
eBook (EPUB)
ISBN: 978 1 847776 39 6
Categories: 21st Century, American, British, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: October 2012
68 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
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  • Description
  • Excerpt
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  • Contents
  • Blue fjords
    recede; salmon swim among stalks
    of rye. Bronze bells, or their echoes, break on rocks
    once lapped by the sea. Did you see them, the quartzcarved
    rocks glistening with summer springs?
    The old violence, the old songs:
    from prows and cliffs, men sound their lurhorns.
    from ‘Dommaring’
    Julith Jedamus writes with an intensity that is at once passionate and precise. The poems in The Swerve create unforgettable landscapes: the whorls and spires of juniper in falling snow, Dutch skies of iridescent grey and lilac, the fire-scorched mountains of the American West. They are peopled by dancers and prisoners, sacrificial children and murderous wives; they reshape the imagination. We see the Netherlands in Van Gogh’s colours as he walks and works, breathing the twilight, and the Thames in Whistler’s; Lorca and Euripides are living presences. The timeless dramas of sacrifice and mourning, rescue and betrayal are re-enacted, meanings dissolved and remade. Long-vanished children walk home through the dark, ‘ghosting a path of sparks’.

    Like the scull she rows on the Thames, Julith Jedamus’s poems skim ‘the fine line / between flying and drowning’, ‘unstable as air’, dangerous, alive.
    The White Cliff
    Belle Tout
    The White Horse
    Rievaulx I and II
    The Lucombe Oak
    E.T. in the Isère
    The Cull
    Henry Moore’s Mother
    Whistler at Midnight
    On the Fast Train from Cambridge to London, Second Class, No A/C, Nine Tunnels
    Fine Boat
    Stowing a Single in Furnivall Boathouse on the Chiswick Mall
    The Drowning of Drenthe
    Van Gogh in Drenthe
    Love-Sonnet to a Rock in Bohuslän
    Osage Orange
    What This Juniper Says About His Mind
    The Melvina Fire
    Barn Burning, Fall River, Wisconsin, July 1966
    Lost Letter to Crane
    The Red Tide
    Two Ghazals for Aziz, Who Spent Eighteen Years in Darkness in Tazmamart Prison
    Romance de la Luna
    Romance Sonámbulo
    La Monja Gitana
    Admetus, Alcestis
    Carpe Diem
    In Troezen
    The Swerve
    Snow Is Not Celibate
    Fixed Form
    Myth and Muse
    A Second Moon
    The Best Time to Talk About Neutrinos
    Merce Cunningham at Craneway, Last Rehearsals, November 2008
    On the Day He Suffered Most, Sycamores
    A Glass of Water
    In Memory of the Photographer Wilson ‘Snowflake’ Bentley, Who Died of Pneumonia after Walking through a Blizzard Near Jericho, Vermont, December 23, 1931

    Poet, novelist, editor and translator, Julith Jedamus was born in Boulder, Colorado and has lived in London for the past 19 years. Her first book of poetry, The Swerve, was short-listed for the Michael Murphy Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre prize for best first collection. ... read more
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