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Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (64 pages)
(Pub. Mar 1995)
I have wasted ten years. You did not love me, ever.
You laughed at me, but that was long ago.
When I was far, you thought that I might be
A glittering comfort.
They, the two woodpigeons
Sit on one branch, grow dark in the afternoon
Or sun licks round a collar. They are preening
Easy as moulting, heavy, grey and slow.
A curl of white, a single feather, falls.
As boulders wait, these two are beautiful.
I do not envy stones. The ten years are
Heavy as the feather's drifting star.
In 1829, Alison Brackenbury's first collection for seven years, the poet travels to three continents: there are poems from her Asian, African and European journeys, and the different peopled landscapes that she visits are
evoked with her resonant lightness of touch, her granting rhythms and the
grace of a subtle, distinctive prosody.
The title poem was broadcast as part of the Mozart bicentenary celebrations on BBC Radio 3. Music has always featured in Brackenbury's poems; in this volume, which risks the dark of a minor key, it becomes a central motif. The poems travel in time as well as space. They also stay at home in a world of disorderly domesticity with cats and ponies.
Peter Forbes, editor of Poetry Review describes her as 'incontrovertibly the real thing, with an insistent, insidious music that once learnt becomes addictive'.
Praise for Alison Brackenbury 'Brackenbury's range as a poet continues to grow, just as her stanza forms become simpler and more pared-down. A growing engagement with inherited English culture allows her to question unspoken and given assumptions.'
M.C. Caseley, Agenda
'Brackenbury conjures a poetry that brings those frightening things into plain daylight, a poetry of the active life, of thrift and graft, of spirits that when pressed resort to sanity.'
'Brackenbury makes rhyming seem easy in work that is clever, controlled, eccentric and thoroughly British in both subject matter and tone.'
David Starkey, Santa Barbara Independent
'Brackenbury is a poet of strong feeling, deeply involved with her subject matter. That the work is cast with such craft and needs to do so little to draw attention to itself makes it all the more pleasurable.'
Jonathan Davidson, Poetry Review 'Alison Brackenbury's ninth collection of poems is a humble, often humorous, celebration of the everyday and the privileges of age.' - Harriet Barker, TLS 'It is her immediate response to the natural world happenings, the seasons, family and memories, and all life's incidentals that make her poems so easy to relate to.' - D. A. Prince, The North 'Filigreed with images of light and dark throughout, it's evocative, amusing and utterly compelling.'
Frances Lass, Radio Times 'Glorious'
Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph 'Enchants'
The Times 'Alison Brackenbury loves, lives, hymns and rhymes the natural world and its people like no other poet.'
Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales
The Carcanet Blog Iain Crichton Smiths New Music: John Greening read more John Gallas: The Extasie read more Roped to Catullus: Isobel Williams read more New Poetries VIII: Vahni Capildeo on Padraig Regan read more Louise Glck: On Realism read more Padraig Regan: NPVIII: Meet the Contributor read more
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