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Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (120 pages)
(Pub. Oct 2002)
Illusions and delusions, joys and jokes, mysteries of memory and temporal paradox figure in Andrew McNeillie's new collection. Here are new sequences of bird poems, and tree poems, lines from an autobiography, lines from America, and poems about old age, in elegiac, ironic, and even vitriolic mode. These poems are about being and longing, belonging and not belonging in the world, past or present, now or then. They are about having and not having a home to go to. Haunted by the rapt, rural and wilderness gaze of childhood, youth and young manhood, the poems in Now, Then express worlds and times past of immediate sensual being and seeing 'then' - 'bubble-rapt' - in a 'sound-warp...like a dipper submerged in a rushing pool' - before the world caught up with their author: now counting his blessings, cursing his luck as time flies faster in life's dark wood.
Praise for Andrew McNeillie 'A living poetic language flows, easy and slangyâ¦the occasional poems which punctuate the later part of the collection are vitalized and real, among them elegies that remember mourning his fatherâs death, and other deaths, which ring true, urged into being by poetry itself.'
Gillian Clarke 'The finest poems here are witty and elegiac, comforting and cajoling and speak of pervading human concerns with a rare lyrical ease and quiet authority. McNeillieâs special gift is for providing the pleasure that comes from recognition: we can see ourselves in his poems. The book carries an epigram from Wordsworth, and there is a Wordsworthian sense of audience and connection in this collection.'
Times Literary Supplement'There is some extraordinary virtuosity here â in one poem, he finds 33 half-rhymes for 'envy'.
John Greening, Country Life
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