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Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (96 pages)
(Pub. Sep 1995)
Lies on my tongue. Get up and bolt the door
For I am coming not to be believed
The messenger of anything I say.
So I am come, stand in the cold tonight
The servant of the grain upon my tongue,
Beware, I am the man, and let me in.
from 'The Usk', v.
Poems: Selected traces over half a century of C.H. Sisson's work, starting with poems written on a troopship and in Bengal and ending on home ground in Somerset. His beginnings were 'without facility, and when I was forced into verse it was through having something not altogether easy to say.' A writer 'worth a place on the short shelf reserved for the finest twentieth-century poets' (The Times) and 'one of the great translators of our time' (The Times Literary Supplement), Sisson occupies an unusual place in English letters: standing apart, his clear-eyed political and literary appraisals and uncompromisedly English stance are inspiring to writers and readers in a wide variety of disciplines. Donald Hall wrote, 'His poems move in service of the loved landscapes of England and France; they sing (and growl) in love of argument, in love of seeing through, in love of the firm descriptions of moral self-disgust; they move in love of the old lost life by which the new life is condemned.' (New York Review of Books)
This selection replaces the 1981 Selected Poems, providing a comprehensive representation of the work and including 'Tristia', a sequence written by the poet in his eighty-first year.
Praise for C.H. Sisson `His poems move in service of the loved landscapes of England and France; they sing (and growl) in love of argument, in love of seeing through, in love of the firm descriptions of moral self-disgust; they move in love of the old lost life by which the new life is condemned.'
Donald Hall, New York Times Book Review 'I think he is worth a place on the short shelf reserved for the finest twentieth-century poets, with Eliot and Rilke and MacDiarmid.'
Robert Nye, the Scotsman
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