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Edited by Patrick Quinn
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Hardback (224 pages)
(Pub. Apr 1995)
There is one story and one story only
That will prove worth your telling,
Whether as learned bard or gifted child;
To it all lines or lesser gauds belong
That startle with their shining
Such common stories as they stay into.
from 'To Juan at the Winter Solstice'
Since 1975 when the last substantial Selected Poems was published, Robert Graves's poetic reputation has rested on only part of his work: he edited, and edited out, much that was crucial to his development, encouraged by those who at once directed and distorted his course as a poet.
In the centenary of his birth, Carcanet launches an ambitious Robert Graves Programme which, over the next decade, will bring into print all his major work, commencing inevitably with the poems, and a Selected which begins to redefine the poet. This book is a forerunner of the three-volume Collected Poems, the first volume due this autumn.
These 151 poems allow Graves, the arch-reviser endlessly tightening and sharpening his poems, to speak with his original voice, before the White Goddess induced him to tone down the cries of the neurasthenic war poet's nightmares, or to tamper with his achieved juvenilia. By including more of the historical context, the book gives readers a chance to follow Graves's progress from aspiring Georgian schoolboy to mature voyager under the protection of the Black Goddess. Some of the poems included will be unfamiliar, having been long suppressed.
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