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ISBN: 978 1 857547 88 7
Categories: 21st Century, First Collections, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: October 2005
216 x 135 x 5 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
When it came, we were getting ready
For bed. The gowns lay on the mattresses,
White as palms open for a coin.
I always loved how they spread themselves,
Armless & headless, across the sheets,
Loved that perfect stillness of things
Dropped from a great height. They stretched
The length of the beds like so many
Paper dolls. That night
The sandals waited on the floor, soft
Brown mouths, open & dumb as those
Of children. I loved how the feet
Came down with a slap, the straps
An embrace. We were kneeling
When it hit. Through the window
I saw its hand & when the others ran
I stood, walked the row
Putting on each pair of sandals, pulling
One crackling cloth over my head after another.
'Vesuvius (in the Priests' Quarters)'
Marabou, Jane Yeh's first book of poems, is a meditation on the nature of artifice, and on the self. Her snapshots freeze fraught instants in the lives of a broad cast of characters: the horror movie mummy, an Elizabethan shoemaker, a flock of Cumbrian sheep; there's Harry Potter's owl and Oscar Wilde, two European princesses... In these beautifully crafted poems, her personae address the themes of love, lust, glamour and desperation with wit and flair. Hers is the language of fashion, espionage, revenge tragedy; her taut pressure-packed lines combine vivid detail and bold confession and reach unexpected emotional truths.
Table of Contents
Double Wedding, 1615
Convent at Haarlem
The Only Confirmed Cast Member Is Ook the Owl, Who Has Been Tapped To Play the Snowy White Owl Who Delivers Mail for Harry
Love in a Cold Climate I
Love in a Cold Climate II
Portrait at Windsor
Parliament of Fowls
Vesuvius (In the Priests' Quarters)
Rhode Island Waltz
Self-Portrait After Vermeer
Awards won by Jane Yeh Short-listed, 2005 Whitbread Poetry Prize (Marabou) Short-listed, 2005 Forward Poetry Prize for the Best First Collection
(Marabou) Winner, 2012 Girton College Jane Martin Prize
'Marabou is fresh and surprising. If only all first books were this unusual.'
Stephen Knight, the Independent on Sunday Praise for Jane Yeh 'She is a brilliant technician. Her acute visual sensibility, the sensuousness of her descriptions, her gift for the creation of striking metaphors, her sensitive orchestration of sounds and the precision of her thought are all rich sources of pleasure for the reader.'
Edmund Prestwich, Acumen 'Jane Yeh's The Ninjas is as unsettling and funny as its cover image... One is tempted to gobble down the exquisite poems one after another...'
Sarah Coles, New Welsh Review 'The Ninjas is profound, funny and sad, reminding us that humans and androids are lonely and need love, and that attention to detail and kindness to animals can make a better world. This quirky and wise collection has outstanding originality and poise.'
Aingeal Clare, Guardian
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