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Collected Poems

Burns Singer

Edited by James Keery

Cover Picture of Collected Poems
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
ISBN: 978 1 857545 17 3
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: July 2001
216 x 135 x 19 mm
96 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
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  • Burns Singer spent the 1950's gaining and losing a reputation. He became an Insider, notably as the writer of Times Literary Supplement leaders, yet considered himself in many respects an Outsider, alienating a whole generation of young editors and fellow poets. His attitude to the Movement was one of contempt, expressed at parties, in pubs and in print. His deepest sympathies were with the Apocalyptics of the 1940s. W.S. Graham, George Barker and Dylan Thomas were influences that he absorbed and outgrew, but never repudiated. His poetry, in fact, fuses Apocalyptic sublimity with the principled intelligence of the Movement.

    'The Transparent Prisoner' is a major contribution to the poetry of the Second World War, a narrative of distinction, based on experiences of an escaped PoW.
    'Still and All', the title poem of Singer's one collection, beautifully distils his
    'ways/Of speech'. Singer can be as mocking, down-to- earth and up-to-date as Larkin or Amis, but the theme to which he invariably returns is immortality - in his own haunting words,
    'The least of things and least preposterous/Of the infinities that robe you

    This edition reprints most of Collected Poems (1970), adding uncollected and unpublished poems. The work is arranged (as far as possible) chronologically, with an introduction and note on the text.
    James Keery
    James Keery lives in Culcheth and teaches English at Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley. Carcanet published That Stranger, The Blues in 1996 and his new edition of Burns Singer's Collected Poems in 2001. He is currently writing on J.H. Prynne (for Jacket) as well as on the Apocalypse and a ... read more
    Praise for James Keery 'Can I find fault with this anthology? I tried, but I was overwhelmed - it gives everything you could possibly ask for and travels to places which this reviewer did not know existed... Keery has found poets we didn't even know about... This recovery of the real story of the Forties is a unique achievement, but is also a rehearsal for the even larger project of recovering the whole history of 'alternative' poetry since 1937, and for the first time drawing a map of modern British poetry which is based on information rather than a wish to control the market'

    Andrew Duncan, Tears in the Fence

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