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Horse Music Paperback – 28 Feb 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodaxe Books (28 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852249676
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852249670
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 13.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 678,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Horse Music finds Matthew Sweeney's grim, gleeful, unrelenting fantasies in exuberant shape. --Sean O'Brien, Independent, Poetry Books of the Year

In Sweeney's poems, things happen for no reason, it seems, other than to tantalise and entertain. But the cumulative effect is to force us to consider imagination itself: its quirks, its curious dissatisfaction with the everyday...this is a wonderful collection, madcap, laconic, and provocative too. --Bill Greenwell, Independent

A poet of obsession and ritual...often elusive or mysterious...enlivened with his saturnine, uncomfortably insistent humour...Ambitious and troubling, linking Ireland to the Black Sea and madness to history, grim as death and very funny. --Sean O'Brien, Guardian.

Haunting fables of entrapment or imprisonment, of troubled sleep, of persecution and loneliness treated with Kafkaesque attention to detail. --Alan Brownjohn, Sunday Times.

With its landscapes of desolate isolations, his is often an evocatively noirish world of contemporary angst… The persona of the poems is a troubled, self-aware consciousness taking in but never quite making sense of a contemporary world of fragments, a consciousness stretched and strained, but untouched by self-indulgence, self-pity or self-regard. --Eamon Grennan, Irish Times

In Sweeney's poems, things happen for no reason, it seems, other than to tantalise and entertain. But the cumulative effect is to force us to consider imagination itself: its quirks, its curious dissatisfaction with the everyday...this is a wonderful collection, madcap, laconic, and provocative too. --Bill Greenwell, Independent

A poet of obsession and ritual...often elusive or mysterious...enlivened with his saturnine, uncomfortably insistent humour...Ambitious and troubling, linking Ireland to the Black Sea and madness to history, grim as death and very funny. --Sean O'Brien, Guardian.

Haunting fables of entrapment or imprisonment, of troubled sleep, of persecution and loneliness treated with Kafkaesque attention to detail. --Alan Brownjohn, Sunday Times.

With its landscapes of desolate isolations, his is often an evocatively noirish world of contemporary angst… The persona of the poems is a troubled, self-aware consciousness taking in but never quite making sense of a contemporary world of fragments, a consciousness stretched and strained, but untouched by self-indulgence, self-pity or self-regard. --Eamon Grennan, Irish Times

About the Author

Matthew Sweeney was born in Lifford, Co. Donegal, Ireland in 1952. He moved to London in 1973 and studied at the Polytechnic of North London and the University of Freiburg. After living in Berlin and Timisoara for some years, he returned to Ireland and now lives in Cork. His poetry collections include The Bridal Suite (1997) A Smell of Fish (2000), Selected Poems (2002), Sanctuary (2004)and Black Moon(2007) from Joanathan Cape, The Night Post: A Selection (2010)from Salt, and Horse Music(2013) from Bloodaxe Books. Black Moon was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award and Horse Music won the inaugural Pigott Poetry Prize in association with Listowel Writers' Week in 2014. He has also published editions of selected poems in Canada (Picnic on Ice, Vehicule Press, 2002) and in Germany (Rosa Milch, bilingual trs. Jan Wagner, Berlin Verlag, 2008).

He won a Cholmondeley Award in 1987 and an Arts Council Writers' Award in 1999. He has also published poetry for children, with collections including The Flying Spring Onion (1992), Fatso in the Red Suit(1995) and Up on the Roof: New and Selected Poems(2001). His novels for children include The Snow Vulture (1992) and Fox (2002). He edited The New Faber Book of Children's Poems (2003) and Walter De la Mare: Poems (2006) for Faber; co-edited Emergency Kit: Poems for Strange Times (Faber, 1996) with Jo Shapcott; and co-wrote Writing Poetry (Teach Yourself series, Hodder, 1997) with John Hartley Williams.

Matthew Sweeney has held residencies at the University of East Anglia and the South Bank Centre in London, and was Poet in Residence at the National Library for the Blind as part of the Poetry Places scheme run by the Poetry Society in London. He is a member of Aosdána.

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Format: Paperback
I was new to Sweeney and it took a while to get the hang of his surrealist style, but now I find his magical horses and crows are haunting my imagination. This is a collection of vignettes, some of them very real, some of them very surreal: the key is not to read the poems as extended metaphors, but to fall into the worlds created by their strange tales, and let their plots and mood wash over and through you. If you do this, there's much to be enjoyed.
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