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Poems Paperback – 30 May 2005


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Paperback, 30 May 2005
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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (30 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852246561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852246563
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 23.5 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 472,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Conspicuously learned, even hermetic, lyrically dense and, at times, obscurantist, J.H. Prynne's Poemsis a difficult, strangely unnerving book. It not only presents the reader with a rare form of intellectual tourism; it also offers a textbook-clear lesson in the verbal trickiness and playful elegance of High Modernism. Deftly employing a range of reference-- scientific, economic, political and verbal registers, didactic, satirical, sardonic and sentimental--Prynne's collected poems reveal a complex extension of what normally passes for "pure" diction in poetry. Whether or not Prynne is trying to conceive of a poetry going beyond what can, or ought, to be meaningfully said, he treats words as ciphers of transfiguration, as steps on a journey characterised by scrupulous attentiveness. If these poems are neither transparent nor opaque, they are also determinedly elusive, always pointing to something else, beyond the consolations of communication: to peruse these poems in search of the grain of sand inside the pearl is to play by rules they refuse to abide (after all, poems are not onions to be pared away in transparent layers).While easily, and increasingly, seen as a questionable imitator of Ezra Pound, or Charles Olson, Prynne's poetic experiments are already at the limits of lyricism and of what passes for metaphor in contemporary Anglo-American poetry-limits to which we no longer need be enslaved. --David Marriott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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15 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
Jeremy Prynne is by some distance the greatest living poet writing in English. Difficult and demanding, yes, but infinitely rewarding. Prynne's attention to, and manipulation of the vast range of allusion inherent in words and phrases is just breathakening. His use and transformation of scientific and computer discourse makes him the most modern of modern poets.
The publication of these poems in a form that is generally available (most of these poems were published by small presses in pamplet form) is a major event. If you care at all about contemporary poetry you need to buy this book.
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10 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
There was a device which, by oscillating a mirror forward and back and projecting a succession of images in the right order, created the facsimile of a three dimensional object.
Here, the words shift and oscillate between pun, metaphor, 'found phrase' and allegory, and refer forward and backward in the text until the actual surface of the language appears to be swimming and shifting. The emotional freight emerges apparently unbidden out of the ether.
This work suggests a quite colossal command of the English language and requires some work by the reader to gain a purchase.
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14 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Dec. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I will have and read these poems all my life. They are responsible for my no longer writing poetry; I could not find a voice that was mine after this, nor could could look on anything I had done with pride. Perfection.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Oct. 1999
Format: Paperback
It's Prynne's close attentiveness towards words which makes this collection challenging but delightful.
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3 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John David Charles Hilton on 28 Nov. 2006
Format: Paperback
Prynne is regarded as one of the major 'post modernist' poets. He undoubtedly has fine ideas, but they are frequently, especially in the early works, let down by awkward and forced diction. The situation improves in the later poems, but it is still noticeable. And, enjoyable though the discussive elements are, the finger wagging can get tiresome. Whereas Adrian Mitchell's work gives the reader a feeling of a man expressing his powerful beliefs, Prynne comes across as an old and tiresome teacher...

In the early poems I can't shake the feeling of contrivance, of an artificiality that leaves an unpleasant after-taste of insincerity.

"Poems" is a fine and substantial volume, but, though his voice is a undeniably distinctive, I can't say that I find it wholly convincing.
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