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Prince Rupert's Drop

Jane Draycott

Cover Picture of Prince Rupert's Drop
Imprint: OxfordPoets
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (56 pages)
(Pub. Oct 1999)
9781903039755
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Timed Exposure

    At the eleventh hour in the empty quarter
    we stand and watch our shadows
    spinning on the clock clock face of the sand.

    We are the dunes, the Chiltern hudnreds,
    ash and lilac, oak and beech wood
    made by all the women of your family.

    Our room is as full as a quarrel, as empty
    as a child with the windows out. Clouds
    of our old clothes race across the floor.

    We aree not even the stars. the lid of our house
    is off, and in the lava trail of tail-lights on the hill
    we must make all our journeys over again.

    Poetry Book Society Recommendation

    'Prince Rupert's drop', a rare curiosity of the glass-making process, is a tear of glass at once immensely resilient yet spectacularly fragile, exploding dramatically when shattered. This tension - between the present beauty and the sense of inevitable loss inherent in the things we most admire - is a key to many of the poems in Jane Draycott's work, particularly to the long central poem 'Braving the Dark', written after her brother's death from AIDS at the age of 30.

    This is Jane Draycott's first collection of poems. It follows a pamphlet, No Theatre, that was a first-stage winner of the Poetry Business Competition (1996) and was most unusually shortlisted for the Forward Prize in 1997. She is also the co-author of Christina the Astonishing (Two Rivers Press, 1998).

    Jane Draycott has lived and taught in London, Strasbourg and Tanzania, and was for a while co-director of a small theatre company, Four Corners. She now works in adult education and lives in Oxfordshire.
    Table of Contents

    When I woke, the darkest dreams continued

    Silence, Drift, Aeroplane

    Braving the Dark

    Jacob Wrestles with the Angel

    Foreign Bodies

    Amateur Radio

    In Memory of Henry West

    Surveillance

    Riot

    On the Demolition of the Regal

    Prince Rupert's Drop

    Wedding Breakfast

    from Christina the Astonishing

       1. The Levitation of St Christina

       2. The Tunnel

       3. Salvation as a Diving-Suit

       4. St Christina Settles Down in a Convent after her

          Miraculous Time as a Bird

       5. Relic

    Elbow

    Land Girl

    War Widow

    Call-Up

    The Tea-Makers

    Dior Fashion-Plate

    Lady Grange on St Kilda

    No Theatre

    Theatrophone

    The Cutting-Room

    Cosmonaut

    The Pathologist and the National Trust

    Tita and Disraeli

    Summer Exhibition

    Dig

    Thyme

    Public Footpath

    Ogress

    Timed Exposure

    The First Week

    We All Know that You're Going

    Bathrooms

    Trident Papa India

    Admission

    What matters

    Jane Draycott’s previous collections from Carcanet Press include The Occupant (Poetry Book Society Recommendation), Over (T S Eliot Prize shortlist), Prince Rupert’s Drop (Forward Prize shortlist) and her 2011 prize-winning translation of the the medieval dream-elegy Pearl. Other collections, from Two Rives Press, include Storms Under the Skin: Selected Poems ... read more
    Awards won by Jane Draycott Winner, 2023 A Cholomondeley Award
    Praise for Jane Draycott 'These are approachable poems, expressed in lucid language, and studded with clear images. They are finely wrought, knitting form and sound patterns beautifully, but holding these formal properties lightly... The Kingdom is moving, intriguing. It's a place I know I will keep returning too, to lose an hour our two.'
    Emma Simon, The Friday Poem
    'Draycott is rightly regarded as a poet of sensitivity and lyrical control. But these are not airy poems. Their mysteries are well served by the muscularity of her descriptions. Even the briefest poems here offer richly textured, shimmering language.'
    Maya Popa, TLS
    'These poems, especially when read in order in the collection as a whole, are deeply unsettling; yet there is love in them, and hope. There is also great tenderness and an awareness of a beauty that can still be valued in the fragility of the moment and the world.'
    Kathleen Bell, The High Window
     'I should make clear from the outset that it's a collection I like very much... This is a collection that speaks to the reader's doubts, uncertainties, fears, death-thoughts; there is no single reading and that, for me, makes it stronger... It anticipates the future, as art should.'
    London Grip
    'A host of subtle and spellbinding effects, testament to Dryacott's skill as a poet as well as her grasp of grief's physcological realities'
    Theophilus Kewk, The North


     'Draycott uses the language of dreams to make the quotidian illusionary, like a vapour captured in lexicon. Sleeplessness haunts the collection... Homeliness is pushed, just, over to Freud's unhomely conclusions. The dream world, enticing and enlightening as he might have it to be, proves no more accommodating than our own.'
    Lucy Cheseldine, STAND
    'Her searching curiosity and wonderful assurance make her an impeccable and central poetic intelligence.'
    Penelope Shuttle, Manhattan Review
    'When Jane Draycott read, for the first time, sections of her exquisitely modulated translation of the 'Pearl' poem, its echoing character seemed to transport me from one cultural space to another... I came as close to hearing the 'Pearl' poet's voice as I am ever likely to be.' - Stella Halkyard, PN Review 'Draycott's version is compellingly human.'
    Lachlan Mackinnon, Times Literary Supplement
     'I've waited some time to read something this intelligent, this sensuous and this crystalline. In fact The Night Tree is the finest collection I've read for ages.'
    Guardian
     'The language is marvellously modulated yet stirringly wild. Draycott has carried over into our tamer, tired world a strong, strange sense of how original, gorgeous and natural this old poem can be.'

     David Morley, Poetry Review


    'Draycott's version is compellingly human.'
    Lachlan Mackinnon, Times Literary Supplement
    'Draycott's version is compellingly human.'
    Lachlan Mackinnon, Times Literary Supplement
    'When Jane Draycott read, for the first time, sections of her exquisitely modulated translation of the 'Pearl' poem, its echoing character seemed to transport me from one cultural space to another... I came as close to hearing the 'Pearl' poet's voice as I am ever likely to be.' - Stella Halkyard, PN Review 'Draycott's version is compellingly human.'
    Lachlan Mackinnon, Times Literary Supplement
    'The language is marvellously modulated yet stirringly wild. Draycott has carried over into our tamer, tired world a strong, strange sense of how original, gorgeous and natural this old poem can be.' - David Morley, Poetry Review
    'When Jane Draycott read, for the first time, sections of her exquisitely modulated translation of the 'Pearl' poem, its echoing character seemed to transport me from one cultural space to another... I came as close to hearing the 'Pearl' poet's voice as I am ever likely to be.' - Stella Halkyard, PN Review 'Draycott's version is compellingly human.'
    Lachlan Mackinnon, Times Literary Supplement
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