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Nocturnes at Nohant: The Decade of Chopin and Sand [Paperback]

Helen Farish
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.95
Price: £7.74 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

28 Jun 2012
'Today, I shall have a few guests, Madame Sand amongst them.' It's December 1836, Paris. Chopin is living on the fashionable rue de la Chaussee d'Antin and the novelist George Sand on the rue Lafitte. But falling in love with Sand also meant falling in love with her ancestral home, Nohant, a manor house set deep in the Berry countryside. In "Nocturnes at Nohant", we hear not only from Chopin and Sand, but also a rich cast of supporting characters who debate, in their sometimes humorous and often surprising way, the relationship between words and music, place and creativity, and the nature of the creative process itself. The powerful love story which threads the sequence together involves spending time not only in rural France, but also Warsaw, Paris, Majorca and Venice. Helen Farish's debut collection, "Intimates", a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2005. "Nocturnes at Nohant" shows a considerable advance on that achievement, notably with her mastery of voice and narrative.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd (28 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852249412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852249410
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 367,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Intimates" is a passionate book. Its theme is ancient (the unthinkable pain of lost love) and Farish thinks hard about both pain and happiness. Much of Farish's art lies in concealment. The economy of her poems and her confidence in their means enable her to speak with convincing directness where other poets might lapse into gestures. --Sean O'Brien, Sunday Times.

Farish uses the first-person speaker with a moving immediacy - as often in the poems that address the death of her father - or deploys it with considerable inventiveness and ingenuity - Intimates is an intensely lyrical work. Farish is adept at conveying a moment of being in a handful of pared, precise images, and she can sometimes astonish with a single line. --Jane Griffiths, TLS.

A debut poetry collection by a poet whose voice is already mature, assured and at times very funny. --Claire Harman, Evening Standard.

Farish uses the first-person speaker with a moving immediacy - as often in the poems that address the death of her father - or deploys it with considerable inventiveness and ingenuity - Intimates is an intensely lyrical work. Farish is adept at conveying a moment of being in a handful of pared, precise images, and she can sometimes astonish with a single line. --Jane Griffiths, TLS.

A debut poetry collection by a poet whose voice is already mature, assured and at times very funny. --Claire Harman, Evening Standard.

About the Author

Helen Farish was born in Cumbria in 1962, where she now lives. She has been a Fellow at Hawthornden International Centre for Writers and was the first female Poet in Residence at the Wordsworth Trust (2004-05). She has also been a Visiting Lecturer at Sewanee University, Tennessee, and a Visiting Scholar at the University of New Hampshire. She lectures at Lancaster University in the department of English and Creative Writing. Her debut collection Intimates (Cape, 2005), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Her audio CD Helen Farish reading from her poems was released by the Poetry Archive in 2009. Her second poetry book, Nocturnes at Nohant, is published by Bloodaxe Books in 2012.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By maryfox
Format:Paperback
Eliot-like but with more heart, Farish breathes life into an intriguing cast of characters who tell the extraordinary if tortured love story of Chopin and Sands.
The sound of Chopin's music permiates these poems like a third character commenting on the relationship, so we get a 'sonata/ in which the cello suggests one topic,/the piano altogether another,' and 'a mazurka / which tells me where we really stand.' And, as you'd expect with Farish, there are numerous exquisite, poised lines which stay with you long after you've put the book down: 'I can't rest without working, /can't smell the roses, nor hear/the fountain shake out its water...'
From the cinematic beauty of 'A Farewell in Winter' with its 'head-scarfed figure' and 'startle of bell-tower birds', to the terse wisdom of Sands herself in her final years: 'Dark reflections? she'd written, stride over them!',there's so much to relish in this collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful.... 6 Dec 2012
By PeggyB
Format:Paperback
These are stunning poems, telling the story of composer Chopin and novelist Sand. But it doesn't matter if you know nothing about Chopin or Sand (though you'll know lots after reading it): above all, this book tells a love story. Farish writes with clarity and concision, and her poems are beautiful. If you're interested in creativity, or music, or love: try this collection. It's boldly unfashionable, evidence of a true poet, following her own path.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 26 July 2014
By Jules
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent Little book of poems for fans of Nohant and Chopin..
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