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The Last Green Field Paperback – 2 Sep 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Indigo Dreams Publishing (2 Sept. 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1909357324
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909357327
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 0.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,483,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Shirley Wright s work contains all the qualities that one would hope to find in a poet. Her beautifully crafted poems examine the delicate, challenging nature of relationships within families and between lovers, as well as tackling themes such as the current crisis in the environment. All are handled with great accomplishment and flair, using tenderness where necessary, and plenty of playfulness and humour too. Her imagery lingers in the mind, never distracting, only enhancing. She moves effortlessly between the physical and emotional landscape, transporting and galvanising the reader with clever and inventive use of form, including the classical. The title poem, The Last Great Field, is a triumph in itself. I cannot recommend this collection highly enough. --Julie-ann Rowell

Shirley Wright's poems create fine collisions between well-crafted exteriors and the jolt of surprise. In many of them,different strata of reality meet in disorientating or unsettling disjunction, yet culminate in fresh wholeness of vision. Gentleness wrestles with implicit violence, humour with deep seriousness, grief with anger, slapdash vernacular with lyrical epiphany. Above all, she is alive to the strange workings of the past in every present moment, and the way loss and death can paradoxically make life richer and more vivid. --Matthew Barton

I was won over. It s stunning. I like the latticed sunlight as well. It s very confident. --Ben Okri, one of the judges of the Sunday Telegraph/Rose Theatre Poetry for Performance competition, writing about My Father.

About the Author

Shirley Wright was born in London, but lives in Bristol close to the beautiful West Country. A former French teacher, she is now a prize-winning poet, novelist and short-story writer. Her novel Time out of Mind came out in 2012. Shirley s poems have been widely published, and in 2008 she won the Sunday Telegraph/Rose Theatre Poetry for Performance competition. In 2012 she won second prize in the Wells International Poetry Competition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A sophisticated, scholarly collection of sometimes passionate, sometimes wry poems about love, relationships, and nature, written in an assured, confident voice. Hopping deftly from lyrical to colloquial and back again, and sneaking in cheeky allusions to great poets and artists of the past, Shirley Wright offers constant surprises and delights, though also unafraid to bring the reader back down to earth with a bump. Topics range from everyday objects such as cups of tea and traffic jams to the Mona Lisa and the metaphysical poets, and geographically the poet wheels us between places as far-flung as the south of France, the Far East and the Outer Hebrides, but always anchored by domestic life at home.

My particular favourites were "Skin", "In Case You're Wondering about the Carbon Footprint" and "Painting Mrs Giocondo".

Deft, clever, self-aware fun -and defnitely a keeper.
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What I loved about the poems in Shirley Wright's first full collection is the mix of sassiness ('If there's one thing that really/pisses me off' and 'as we lick vanilla, tra-la, tra-lee') and tenderness ('this no-man's land/of disbelief' and 'a suddenness of colour/wild enough to stop the heart'). However, these poems are more than just these two things. They encompass family, love, loss, the places we live in and our places in history. Reading them made me feel part of something bigger and something that matters. They are also well-crafted; each word obviously chosen with a careful poet's eye. Line breaks are wise and well-placed and there is a nice variety of forms (sonnet, specular, prose poetry). My favourite? Oh, if I had to choose, it would probably be: Biology Lesson!
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I met Shirley Wright when we were both at a women writer's retreat at Moniack Mhor in Scotland last May. I heard her read some of the poems in this collection, and really liked what I heard, so I bought it as soon as it was published and have been reading my way happily through it ever since. The poems are lyrical and display Shirley's commitment to eco-writing - poems that explore humanity's relationship with the environment. I like Shirley's sense of humour - 'Climate Change' begins: 'There are polar bears in my kitchen.....' and another takes a wry look at our ways of dealing with the new C word, 'In case you're wondering about the Carbon Footprint'.

Becoming serious again, in 'Field' she hopes for 'myths to sing

the branching of our story -
born in the heart of wildwood,
nurtured by wolves
and told in antique voices
to the trees that built us,
whose paper holds our dreams.

Another poem - 'My Father' - won the Sunday Telegraph prize for performance poetry.
'My Father ..
loved fish - their slither
and slide, the rainbow flash
of scales that would leap
and glide past
in silence....

She uses a quote from TS Eliot as an epigraph, 'The historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.' And this too gives a clue to another of Shirley's preoccupations - the compound nature of time. As in this poem, the past is present in every moment, and we're assaulted with memories 'fragments that stop the hourglass', leaving us 'sun-stunned'.

This is an excellent first collection - a very good read, with some beautiful moments in it. Someone once told me that a collection should always have at least 3 'wow' poems in it - this definitely has!
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Format: Paperback
Shirley Wright's book of poems around the theme of time is full of, acutely observed relationships and landscapes. She combines the colloquial with the poetic in her choice of words and images to weave her own unique take on the world. Childhood, marriage in decline, bereavement, sense of places visited from Calanais to Beijing, Chew Valley Lake to the Somme: all topics for her take on things. Neatly constructed and presented, full of half rhymes you can relish. And through her work we find our own references
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Format: Paperback
The thing about poetry is that if you like it, it feels as if it has been written just for you, and that makes it a huge source of comfort and pleasure when it happens. And so although I always find it hard to say just what makes poetry work for me,this collection by Shirley Wright has already found its place in my heart. The poems in this collection are actually a lot more varied than I expected, summoning up a big cast of characters and situations. And although there is a kind of thematic unity, it's not that of the eco-warrior as the title might suggest. Lots of them, like 'Galahad' and 'Past Imperfect' made me laugh with neat twists in the tail. Some are conversational in tone and others like 'Midnight in Harris' almost entirely descriptive. All of them rest on the most acute observation of events, people and nature and the ability to render this into a few stunning lines. I could tell you now that my other favourites are Getting On, The Last Green Field and the haunting 'Call of Home' but that's only on a first reading. In this slim volume there are more than forty poems and of these will be many that I reread time and time again, with new favourites taking the place of old according to the seasons or my own moods.Highly recommended.
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