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Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
(Pub. Jun 2008)
Out of Stock
Suddenly there's such a crowd, I can't see
Over their heads, let alone into them.
I am struck by their muteness, their misty
Dissolution as they drop, one by one,
Trudging step by step through a wilderness.
What visions might have made them so
Strangely here at home?
from 'De Mortuis'
Christopher Middleton’s Collected Poems gathers over half a century’s inventive, brilliant writing by one of Britain’s genuinely Modern poets. Here is an English writer, a European sensibility, of exhilarating originality and passion. His concerns, he declares, include the strictly articulated tension between Being and Nothing, the stance and dance of sundry creatures, the nothing as a gerund, destructive evils as force. We will look here in vain for single ‘voice’, though there is unprecedented singularity in the sheer variousness of his poetry’s worlds.
'a poet with a disconcerting knack of making it new in almost every poem'
John Lucas, New Statesman 'His work is at once rich and sparse, elegantly economic in its subtle shifts from discrete object to discrete object, yet, by contrast with mainstream English realism, striking for the boldness and brio of its imaginings.'
Terry Eagleton, Stand 'Metrically inventive and various, these poems are remarkably alive to "the unknown thing beside us", they listen for "the due sound", and, as if watching birds, register "the timed flight of words". A motto for reading Middleton's work might be: purify the source, then trust to luck.'
Denis Donoghue, London Review of Books 'Middleton is amongst the most consistently inventive, original, and audacious of the so-called 'experimental' or 'innovative' poets of these past twenty-five years.'
August Kleinzahler, Threepenny Review Praise for Christopher Middleton 'The poet's ancestry, his Englishness, is relegated without denial. But the movement, whether it is generated in America, Provence or Cappadocia, is always of encounter...if an eroticism, with the inner and the outer, a profound in-touchness with the multiplicities of existence... a mark of all important poets'
Tom Lowenstein 'Poems, translations, essays - Christopher Middletonâs are among the most visited books on my shelves; always dependable for re-exciting the possibilities of language.'
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