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Tramp in Flames Paperback – 1 Sep 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (1 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330440071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330440073
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 0.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 310,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Paul Farley shows a tough urban sensibility, fine craftsmanship
and a pungent wit' -- Daily Telegraph

'The passage of time tempers Farley's brashness with a strain of
melancholy, lending his poetry a likeable vulnerability' -- Independent on Sunday

'poems that are rich in thought and memorable in expression' -- Times Literary Supplement

Book Description

Following the exceptional acclaim for his first two books, Farley might have been forgiven for resting on his laurels with his ‘difficult third’ – but Tramp in Flames instead finds him driving his formal ambition and remarkable imagination harder than ever. A book of considerable emotional daring and sometimes Wordsworthian sweep, Tramp in Flames is the work of a meticulous archivist of our cultural memory, and sets the palimpsest of the present hour on a light-box. It also shows Farley rapidly becoming one of the definitive English voices of the age. 'Resonant without being flashy . . . lines that will stick with you for a really, really long time' Mark Haddon 'Funny, observant, brilliantly musical . . . streetwise, erudite, elusive, but very accessible' Ruth Padel, Financial Times 'Farley is one of our most vital and engaging voices. Even a title can twist at the familiar, commanding our attention. He has the knack of both establishing and undermining the securities of memory purely through turn of phrase' W. N. Herbvert, Scotland on Sunday Poetry Book Society Recommendation

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Bevan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
Paul Farley's third published collection of poetry demonstrates a remarkable range - he can be funny, poignant, whimsical and profound, all the while being an acutely observant craftsman. Tackling everything from shooting birds as a youngster with an air-rifle to recording their sounds as an adult birdwatcher, and both the power and deceptiveness of memory, he's most at home (it seems to me) excavating the depths of the present moment, the gaps between the seconds (`The Lapse' and `Filler') and the dense, allusive texture of the natural world (`The Big Hum' with its `great space, stitched by wrens and plumbed by larks', and `Whitebeam').

And although some poems over-work a conceit and are perhaps a bit too fanciful (`The Scarecrow Wears a Wire') or are - for me - too elusive ('Pantoum of the Emergency'), Farley has a clear gift for conjuring up depths and layers, as well as evoking a wry sadness, whether at the passing of childhood, the death of a friend or the transitory nature of life itself. Perhaps most remarkable is the way he captures an emotional trope - the loss of innocence (`The Westbourne at Sloane Square'), the persistence of regret (`Paperboy and Air-Rifle'), the sense of nature terribly awry during the foot and mouth disease catastrophe (`A Shepherd's Guide to Wool and Earmarks') in just a line, line-and-a-half or half-line twist right at the end of a poem. It's a rare poet who can turn the mood of a poem on a sixpence like that, and it makes the collection as a whole an intense and satisfying one.
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