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Edited by Neil Powell
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (480 pages)
(Pub. May 2002)
Hardback (480 pages)
(Pub. May 2002)
Out of Stock
Donald Davie was, par excellence, the engaged poet of our time. His poems do not pre-empt us in the way that protest or political poetry does, though he protests and is political. He was a poet of English perspectives refracted through historical mediation, essay-poem, love lyric, satire, translation (notably of the Psalter), epistle, eclogue and other forms. His passion is for our common language, its registers and tonalities, what it can do responsibly and where it can go only at its peril.
This expanded edition of the Collected Poems includes the posthumous Poems and Melodramas. It restores to print the author's own selection from his Pasternak translations and the whole of The Forests of Lithuania, and it gathers together for the first time over two dozen poems which have not previously appeared in any of his collections. It also incorporates the corrections and revisions Davie made to his own copy of the 1990 Collected Poems. The Notes which he provided for his first Collected in 1972 at last reappear, supplemented by further notes and a new editorial introduction.
Awards won by Neil Powell Winner, 2017 East Anglian Writers Book by the Cover Award (Was and Is) Winner, 2017 East Anglian Book Awards (for Poetry)
(Was and Is)
Praise for Donald Davie 'He has drawn a map of modernism, starting with Hardy and Pound, that remains one of the definitive outlines of twentieth-century experiment in form and language. The mapmaker, in this case,is a notable locus on the map.'
Helen Vendler `These poems thrive on the restless energy that drives their author on from form to form and place to place. Few poets are more likely than Davie to persuade new readers that poetry can still be a matter of concern and pleasure.'
Martin Dodsworth, The Guardian 'In his criticism, he has drawn a map of modernism, starting with Hardy and Pound, that remains one of the definitive outlines of twentieth-century experiment in form and language.'
Helen Vendler Praise for Neil Powell 'Throughout there are poems to and for friends and yet, paradoxically, Powell has the air of an outsider, solitary and watchful.'
D A Prince, the North
''Neil Powell's Was and Is: Collected Poems gathers together a lifetime of walking, seeing, reading and rhyming the landscapes of eastern England, and in particular the coast of Suffolk. The author's world of friends and books has a wide historical horizon, haunted by literary ghosts from George Crabbe to W.G. Sebald. This is a rich book full of the light of the changing seasons, the rhythms of weather and sea, and the little details of human life that add colour to every corner of these skilful, evocative, and painterly poems.''
Dr Jeremy Noel-Tod (UEA), Poetry judge of the 2017 East Anglian Book Awards
'Like ordinary people, poets long to be loved. But all that is necessary is that they should be understood.'
Roy Fuller 'His poetry has a rewarding range and depth, though memory and our ambivalent handling of memory is what he is best at. He is an elegiac poet, and in some ways a more valuable poet of loneliness than Larkin. Any younger reader who hasn't yet cottoned on to Powell should find this carefully considered 'Collected' rewarding: his is a quiet insistent voice at the heart of the tradition.'
'Neil Powell's poems are lucid, elegant, formal and humane .'
'An exceptional poet of place, and of the East Anglian coast in particular: Neil Powell's Selected Poems thoroughly defines the peculiar atmospheres of that bleak landscape and seascape...'
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