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The Telling

Laura Riding

Edited by Michael Schmidt

Cover Picture of The Telling
RRP: GBP 9.95
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857547 74 0
Categories: 20th Century, American, Women
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Published: June 2005
216 x 135 x 15 mm
185 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • Truth's nature is to fill a place that belongs to it when the place becomes cleared of a usurping occupant. It slips into place, then, with a quiet of natural fitness, perfectly not-astounding in the rightness of its being there.
    (Note 4, p. 149)

    For Laura (Riding) Jackson, two decades of intense poetic dedication finally revealed poetry itself to be a 'usurping occupant'. It was a long time before she felt ready to publish this post-poetic testament, the book she called a 'personal evangel'. The work of a poet who renounced poetry in mid-life because it hampered the way to something further in language, The Telling stands central to her work and unique in the intellectual history of the twentieth century.
     
    The language-quality of The Telling is distinctive; so too is the author's vision of human fulfilment as attainable through truth-speaking. The core-part of the book, in 62 numbered sections, is followed by a 'Preface for a Second Reading', and in turn by the confiding 'Some After-Speaking: Private Words'. This concentric series of extending considerations - linguistic, literary, social, spiritual - completes the book, while leaving its thought open to further exploration.

    Michael Schmidt considers this rich and rewarding work in his introduction.
    Laura Riding
    Laura (Riding) Jackson (1901-1991) is among the most influential yet misread writers of the twentieth century. She renounced poetry after her Collected Poems in 1938, a body of work which left its mark upon Auden, Ashbery and many others. Her collaborations and her own essays, stories and poems are central to ... read more
    Michael Schmidt
    Michael Schmidt FRSL, poet, scholar, critic and translator, C107was born in Mexico in 1947; he studied at Harvard and at Wadham College, Oxford, before settling in England. Among his many publications are several collections of poems and a novel, The Colonist (1981), about a boy’s childhood in Mexico. He is general ... read more
    Awards won by Michael Schmidt Winner, 2016 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem - Sasha Dugdale's 'Joy', published in PN Review 227  (PN Review 227 )
    Praise for Michael Schmidt '...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
    John Ashbery
     'The most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK's poetry magazines.'
    Simon Armitage
    'It has attempted to take poetry out of the backwaters of intellectual life and to find in it again the crucial index of cultural health.'
    Cairns Craig, Times Literary Supplement
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