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Collected Poems

Ivor Gurney

Edited by P.J. Kavanagh

Cover Picture of Collected Poems
RRP: GBP 18.95
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eBook (Kindle)
ISBN: 978 1 847779 92 2
Categories: 20th Century, War writings
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Published: July 2012
320 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), Paperback
Digital access available through Exact Editions
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  • Description
  • Editor
  • Reviews
  • P.J. Kavanagh's 1982 edition of the 'Collected Poems established Ivor Gurney (1890-1937) as one of the most original poets of the early twentieth century. His experiences in the First World War, his love of his native Gloucestershire countryside were sources of a unique poetic voice: Vigorous, lyrical and passionate.

    In this new, substantially revised edition, Gurney can be enjoyed in his entirety by a new generation of readers. The poems have been re-ordered to take into account new work on Gurney, the texts corrected from the archive and editorial material substantially revised, while retaining P.J. Kavanagh's extensive original introduction.

    To many readers, the 1982 edition was a revelation. Re-reading Gurney, writes P.J. Kavanagh, 'is to be reminded how miraculously good he can be: his celebration of the ordinary, his eye for detail, his musical ear that combines traditional rhythms with the unpredictable...'

    'I commend this collection...it reflects the sheer plentitude of Gurney's output. It is a joy to explore.' - Robert J. Yates, The Ivor Gurney Society Journal.


    P.J. Kavanagh
    P.J. Kavanagh was born in England in 1931, and worked as a lecturer, actor and broadcaster, as well as a writer. His Collected Poems were published in 1992, the year in which he was given the Cholmondeley Award for poetry. His memoir The Perfect Stranger won the Richard Hillary Prize in ... read more
    Praise for P.J. Kavanagh 'To hear the truth so devastatingly and yet so joyfully encountered is rare in an age where autobiography has been flattened by the massed weight of political and public reminiscence. This autobiography, from its beginning to its bitter end, is a celebration of joy: joy in youth, in woman, in male camaraderie, in the struggle of art, in married love.'
    Times Literary Supplement 
    'There is plenty of quietly glittering intellect in these poems... he has an eye for rural things, birds, plants, weather; all are subdued to the colour of his own mind, its knowledge of loss, its recurrent perception of the world as a place to which it belongs and does not belong... this collection amply demonstrates Kavanagh's distinguished place among contemporary poets.'
    Frank Kermode
    'The pleasure of reading these poems is the pleasure of exceptionally good company. Kavanagh has exactly the right kind of curiosity - neither pedantic nor trifling, but casual in the best sense.'
    Wynn Wheldon, Spectator
    'There is plenty of quietly glittering intellect in these poems... he has an eye for rural things, birds, plants, weather; all are subdued to the colour of his own mind, its knowledge of loss, its recurrent perception of the world as a place to which it belongs and does not belong... this collection amply demonstrates Kavanagh's distinguished place among contemporary poets.'
    Frank Kermode
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