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A Little Bit of Bread and No Cheese

Jeremy Over

Cover Picture of A Little Bit of Bread and No Cheese
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857545 27 2
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: August 2001
215 x 135 x 5 mm
64 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • 'It's good to lose something you don't really need every now and then,
    an item of clothing, some hair, a tooth, a piece of one's mind. A tree
    of course, knows this.
    Once we left the family bible out on the lawn overnight
    to soak up the late summer dew, and the next day
    we kneaded the bloated black pulp and
    put it in the oven to bake
    And when the door opened
    a cinema of black birds ....


    from 'Divertimento'

                
    Jeremy Over's poetry creates a world of delight and amazement; in the face of language, love and an elusive reality which seems eternally beyond the realm of rational control. His cornucopia spills out pineapples, watermelons, unstitched shoes and flocks of birds from the baked remains of the waterlogged family bible. He dares to glance down from vertiginous perspectives and the laughter his poems produce is bright and innocent. There is nothing reductive in his ironies. He draws on Neruda, Stevens, Traki and more, but readers will feel in his work the pressure of the Lorca of Poeta en Nueva York and the tonalities of Laforgue.

    The poems rarely break entirely from a narrative core, yet they challenge the current orthodoxy of poetry as storytelling on every level. His is an important new voice and this is a glittering first collection.
    Jeremy Over was born in Leeds in 1961. His poetry was first published in New Poetries II . There followed two Carcanet collections, A Little Bit of Bread and No Cheese and Deceiving Wild Creatures . He currently lives on a hill near Llanidloes in the middle of Wales. ... read more
    Praise for Jeremy Over  It is this nothing offered that makes Fur Coats in Tahiti such a rewarding read, because it leads to destinations unknown, a restless, constantly moving walk after not knowledge, but illumination, the unexpected relationship between word and word that opens a window to the world. It is, I realise as I write, a kind of Dada Zen book; what more can I say?
    Billy Mills

     'They also seem magical. Like magic words, or Latin mass: more powerful for all its uncertainty.'
    Joe Darlington, Manchester Review of Books
     'Joyous panoplies of alphabets warble, blossom and assemble into word songs made simultaneously stately and playful here in Fur Coats in Tahiti. Folklore and plainsong play with Stein and then Whitman comes over, inviting so many alphabetic others to join in: Wordsworth via Jandl via Atkins via Ono via You makes something entirely new! Over's marvelous word worlds mesh and refresh all our delights in loving thinking musics of sound, sense and nonce. Slip on this luxurious garment of a book where the language weather is always perfect.'
    Lee Ann Brown
     'In Fur Coats in Tahiti, Jeremy Over exuberantly defies expectations. These poems rollick as they explore relationships between sound and sense, interweave the surreal and the mundane, and conduct whimsical, unpredictable journeys. The work teems with intelligence and delight.'
    Carrie Etter
    'I am in love with the new collection by Jeremy Over, building as it does on the work of his first two books with so much style and grace. The poems are in thrall to the magic of the image, exquisite timing and exuberant ambivalence. Which latter, for me, articulates exactly why dull certainties and conciliatory platitudes tend to sail over my head. Over's is a poetry of endless curiosity and intellectual generosity, inviting us to wander and wonder with the writer. The long poems and sequences capture a quality of musical improvisation, but the attention is pulled back, again and again, by unexpected lyrical detail; as if distraction (by beauty, by stupidity, by wonder) were the only true method. And it is.'
    Luke Kennard
     'A restless experimenter and game-player with language'
    Ian McMillan, The Reader
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