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The Invisible Kings
Categories: 21st Century
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (96 pages)
(Pub. Aug 2007)
I beg of you believe in the Kings, the blacksmith's tribe, the Boorgoodjides
made up of the tamar, true twisters of sastra, sras or srastrakani...
Who are the invisible kings? Why do two bears follow them round Britain? And what happens when a gypsy's curse comes miraculously to life? David Morley's new book reveals extraordinary worlds where the real and imagined converge in stories and charms, just this side of science and magic.
When David Morley's Romani poems first appeared in the London Review of Books and PN Review, the strangeness of the language and their narrative power convinced readers that here was a genuinely new imaginative world. Partly Romani himself, the poet follows - and remakes - a tradition of weaving stories, from the conflicts in his own culture and that of the Roma. The personal poems that open the collection develop into a traveller's-eye view of England and Europe as stages for war, passion and betrayal. Never before has a writer made such daring and beautiful use of the Romani language as a vehicle for contemporary poetry, nor has a Romani poem achieved the devastating epic scope of 'Kings', the central narrative of the collection.
The Invisible Kings continues a cycle of poems that began with David Morley's Scientific Papers and which will conclude with An Island Blown Inland.
You Were Broken
In Cold Dimensions
Paul Celan: Draft of a Landscape
Of the Genus Diatomaceae
Finn of the Wiles
Sèsi o Lety U Písku
Te Avel Angle Tute
Shookàr Mooklò Chàv
Songs of Songs
The Gypsy Kings
To Feed the Dead Who Would Come Disguised as Birds
A Boy Casting Snow on Winter Barley
A Static Ballroom
An Ice Queen
Nets at Gennesaret
Sky High Ice
Texts to the Inventor ofItalics
A Printer’s Rose
Architects of the Frari,Venice
Croix Pantoum: TenthChristmas for Isaac
Awards won by David Morley Short-listed, 2020 The Forward Prize for Best Collection (FURY) Winner, 2015 Poetry Society Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry (The Invisible Gift )
'David Morley takes us on a voyage to the other half of his heritage. In a serial masterpiece of macaronic verse, he shows us a life intimate with our own...yet more deeply Other than romantic fairytales or even authentic music from Spain and Eastern Europe had suggested it might be. He holds our world up to a language mostly kept secret up to now...the refraction of the familiar is dizzying yet often moving.'
'T'he strange atmospherics suffuse every page while the balance struck between mystery and disclosure can be breathtaking...Such moments led me to feel that Morley had not so much created a new universe as uncovered one. Any universe is bound together by language; and Morley brings Romany vocabulary fizzing and crackling into our consciousness'
Tim Liardet, Guardian Praise for David Morley 'A linguistic playground full of marvels'
D.A. Prince, Under the Radar
'A rich and musical collection with a sharp political bite... there's something magical about reading the poems first for the sheer verbal play of the language, the sparking, luminous sounds it makes in the mouth and paints on the mind... FURY has an enormous range, and handles its politics with sensitivity and power'
Seán Hewitt, The Irish Times
'David Morley's FURY is published by Carcanet. Sonnets meet pantoums in this festival of loves and voices, the air is full of birds, fury meets gentleness, and every poem is deeply interested in what language makes of us... FURY controls its furies with ever inventive craftsmanship.'
Alexandra Harris, Chair of Judges, The Forward Prize
'...poems which all possess such showmanship and sonic agility... Morley's poetics of mimicry and ventriloquism echo the collection's subjects of displaced peoples and species, illustrating the virtuosity of voice, in a mutually reinforcing loop.'
The Poetry Review
'Morley's mastery of poetics comes into full effect as he introduces more and more Romany words in his poems... Morley connects us simultaneously to the past and the present, to our world and the natural world. An ecologist and naturalist, David Morley's attention to the natural world is particular and more acute than most... David Morley's Fury is an exhibition of poetic prowess and skilful storytelling that extends his interests in the legacy of Gypsy people from his previous collections. Readers can expect to be treated to a force of nature in poetics, linguistic dexterity and storytelling.'
H.M. Hussain, DURA Dundee
'In FURY, Morley's concerns combine as never before into a keening, politicised call to pay attention to the missing, the lost, and the deliberately elided [...] Morley's trademark fusion of Romani and English "Angloromani" forges afresh his lyric gifts''The poems of FURY are acts of radical connection across cultures and language... FURY comes with a hard political edge too, in elegies for cultural loss: "All the nameless people named here. / The story ends with who we were."'
Sinead Morrissey, PBS Autumn Bulletin
Aingeal Clare, The Guardian
'In this daring new collection, Morley holds a mirror up to the myriad of irresponsible ways that we as humans influence the natural world and how we treat one another... Threaded with Romanes - as Morley's poems often are - this is a celebration of the Roma tongue as well as the people and places gone by... To read Fury is to tread a pilgrimage along the oldest putèka. To know these paths is to be compelled to walk them again, to feel the trembling pride for our ethnicity and to sing once more of home.'
Jo Clement, Travellers Times
'Exuberant, linguistically experimental poems... his work has affinities with Hughes's attention to both the surfaces and depths of the natural world.'
Jeff Gundy, Poetry Salzburg Review
'David Morley can work in more than one mode... no subject is off limits here'
Harry Cochrane, TLS
'Morley is a master of the integrity of wholes and parts. A fabulous collection of poems...'
Dundee University Review of the Arts
'Like opening a box of fireworks, something theatrical happens when you open its pages ... Ted Hughes wrote about the natural magical and mythical world; The Invisible Gift is a natural successor.'
Ali Smith, Andrew McMillan & Jackie Kay, Ted Hughes Award judges.
'A rare and beautiful book.'
The Guardian on The Invisible Kings (2007) 'Here are two outsiders working at poetry from the underside of nature, Clare now in a brown huff, Wisdom snaring a warren with a snigger of wires. Using a mixture of sonnets, Romani language, concrete poetry, and the dynamics of birdsong, Morley conjures a marvellous sense of nature as intimacy, something precise yet loaded and of immense importance to us.'
George Szirtes 'Enchantment by David Morley is a linguistic feast...'
Jonathan Bate Sunday Telegraph Books Of The Year 2010
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