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Drysalter (Cape Poetry)

Drysalter (Cape Poetry) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Symmons Roberts
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.00
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Product Description


"He displays an amazing talent for intimacy on paper – sometimes, it almost takes your breath away." (Kate Kellaway Observer)

"It's all implicit, subtle, hypnotic and often beautiful." (Monocle)

"150 poems of 15 lines, combining dazzling elegance and a rare imaginative humility." (Sean O'Brien Independent)

"150 poems of fifteen lines, tackling multiple subjects from peeling an orange to the universe's "scattergram of long-dead suns". Not a dud among them." (Adam Thorpe Times Literary Supplement)

Book Description

A new poetry collection from the award-winning writer of Corpus and Edgelands. Winner of the 2013 Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection and shortlisted for the 2013 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize and 2013 Costa Poetry Award.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 186 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (4 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #219,644 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Michael Symmons Roberts is a British poet and author.

His poetry has won the Forward Prize, the Costa Poetry Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award, and been shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize, and the T.S. Eliot Prize. He has received major awards from the Arts Council and the Society of Authors. He has been described by Jeanette Winterson as 'a religious poet in a secular age. His work is about the connection between the things of the spirit and the things of the world. And his work is about transcendence.'

As a librettist, his continuing collaboration with composer James MacMillan has led to two BBC Proms choral commissions, song cycles, music theatre works and an opera for the Welsh National Opera - 'The Sacrifice' - which won the RPS Award for opera.

His broadcast work includes 'A Fearful Symmetry' - for Radio 4 - which won the Sandford St Martin Prize, and 'Last Words' commissioned by Radio 4 to mark the first anniversary of 9/11.

He has published two novels, and is Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.

For news of publications, events, broadcasts etc see

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drysalter by Michael Symmons Roberts 15 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a book of treasures - 150 poems, each of 15 lines (yet in a wide range of stanzaic variations), on themes that are familiar in lyric poetry but which the poet treats with tenderness, endless ingenuity, wit, self-deprecation and physicality. I'm reading it slowly, just three or four poems at a time, because the facility of writing could easily tempt a superficiality of reading - which would be a great shame. Several individual poems (even particular lines) are full of delicacy and subtle perception, yet turn out to be making a big - often cosmic - point. Three stanzas from 'Smoke' as an example:
'One building bleeds into another. / Torch beams shrink to yellow burrs. / Headlamps fade to dandelion clocks. // Distances collapse. Shouts could cross / streets, valleys, oceans. Silence, broken / by a siren on another continent. // And what burns? Sweet and salt, / bracken, berries, hair. What new edifice / hardens within, waits for the world to sharpen?'

Warmly recommended, even if (like me) you already have far too many poetry books to fit on your shelves...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry should always be as good as this 26 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am enthralled by this book. Thought I might tire of the 15 lines but it is so varied I barely notice. It arrived on time and perfect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lively and engaging 12 Sept. 2014
By Angus M
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a lively, engaging, provocative book of poems that play with life at many levels. I like the particularity of it -- this response, at this moment, in this context. As in the Book of Psalms, there are a hundred and fifty poems, but that is the end of the definite connection. This is not a free version, nor do the poems correspond to Psalms in any way. But it is packed with allusions, references, starting points, reflections, and an alignment with the starting-point of the notional Psalmist. It starts in life -- where are we today? what's going on? how do I live through it? it's not that bad, really; and so on -- and it returns to life, as in the illustrations in a psalter, or in the mix of exotic, aromatic and transformative goods suggested by the title. I like it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
A series of 150 poems, all but one of fifteen lines. Within that limitation of length, they use a wide variety of verse structure and tone. They range from the mystical to the politically engaged. Many of the poems take very ordinary things as starting-points and transmute them into something wonderfully rich and strange. This volume shows Michael Symmons Roberts writing at his best, with his imagination at full stretch. If you like modern poetry, this is a book to relish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There are a few really top class poems here, but sadly they're lost in the poor quality of the rest of the work. The collection needed a much stronger editor and a significant amount of culling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars refreshing twist to poetry 16 April 2014
Wow that poet manages to create 150 poems of 15 lines and make each one as unique as a snowflake. Definitely worth buying
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