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Speak, Old Parrot Hardcover – 4 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson (4 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091944643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091944643
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"What's the best thing about judging the Forward prizes? Free books? Reassessing a poet you hadn't paid enough attention to? Those are good, but the best might be the poems, and odd lines, that stick in your head. They may be from books that didn't even make the shortlist, but they've still made a mark – Dannie Abse's line "Men become mortal when their fathers die" from his collection Speak, Old Parrot, isn't going to leave me any time soon." (Guardian Books Blog)

"The phenomenal Dr Abse still prescribes verbal wit and human warmth, radiant memory and blazing perception, as remedies against a time of life when "all pavements slope uphill". This veteran flyer can still sing and swoop." (Independent)

"Dannie Abse's line "Men become mortal when their fathers die" from his collection Speak, Old Parrot, isn't going to leave me any time soon." (Sheenagh Pugh Guardian)

"It’s a book packed with both feeling and swagger, a tumbling energy that belies the closing farewell." (Literary Review)

"There is much that could be said about this inspiring collection, and all of it positive. It should be bought, read and re-read." (New Welsh Review)

Book Description

A new anthology of poems from one of Britain's most well-respected poets

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Loveday on 11 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In some ways, this book is 'the mixture as before', acutely observered, genial, affable, discursive, but, also as before, individual, sharp, forthright, poignant.

I can't set down that last word without saying that one poem stands out for me as showing Abse at a level of attainment few of his peers reach, a quiet poem, tenderly building towards the impact reserved for its last word. As usual in his work, it may be assumed that the telling word was unpremeditated --yet inevitable. Perhaps readers will forgive me for leaving them to discover the poem for themselves. I would be happy to return to join a Forum discussion.

A few of the readily quotable lines from other poems may suggest the flavour of the Old Parrot's offerings.

... 'the recurring decimal of calamity.'

'Men become mortal the night their fathers die.'

...'The streets of Germany
are clean, like the hands of Lady Macbeth .'
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By chris farrands on 16 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dannie Abse has been a leading writer of welsh poetry in english since the 1960s, and although he is writing less than in the past, the quality of his language and the organisation of his writing on the page is unsurpassed. The links to welsh landscape and social life is acutely observed and unsentimental, and the frequent allusion to welsh language poetic forms and puns turned inside out in an english skin enrich many of the poems, as does Abse's unique sense of history. The translations rival anything Seamus Heaney has achieved as poems in their own right and not as mere translation exercises. He writes as an ageing man with a sense of his identity and voice unbounden, despite at the same time recognising a sense of frailty and the speeding of time. The publishers have put a many coloured parrot on the cover, which beautifully reflects the range and the elan of this fabulous writer. Read this and realise (again?) how compelling contemporary poetry makes life more worth living.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This gem is for anyone who enjoys the common mans poetry. Nothing flowery; just plain clever observation of people, places and the feelings we all have at some point in our daily lives. A squint view.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Physician-poets never die... 30 Mar. 2014
By Maria Basile - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In Speak, Parrot, the physician-poet celebrates the humanity of medicine. Dannie Abse at 90 writes with the same wonder and fascination found in his earlier works.
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