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New Light for the Old Dark Paperback – 1 Apr 2010
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"Sam Willetts has been through fire and come back, with his own improbable cantor's quorum ready-assembled around him: mystic, junkie, dealer, truant child, Holocaust survivor, son, lover, brother - he is able to make them all sing, in poems of such fluency and force, such holy fortuity of phrasing, they make us want to celebrate even as they make us mourn. A natural like few others" (Henry Shukman)
"This letter is sheer poetry to the bard of no fixed abode" (Sunday Times interview)
An extraordinary first collection of poems from an assured new writerSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
... And far more interesting and original than most poetry collections out this year and over the past few.
Occasionally the world needs to be reminded of the Nazis murderous attempt to eradicate the Jewish faith. "Ghetto" shows Kazimierz, a town in wartime Poland, whose citizens were gun-pointed onto night trains to Germany and an early death. The town became "a homely Mary Celeste" where silent, empty streets seem to have been "cleared for a showdown that never comes" and it patiently waits for its citizens to return.
A "Necessary" destruction of another kind is shown in "August 9th" where a "squat black four tons" atomic bomb becomes a glorious "sunrise-after-sunrise" over Japan.
In "Tourist" Warsaw has been re-built after the war to an exact replica but the poet thinks its not quite right - like an accident victim whose face has had plastic surgery and he can't quite put his finger on what's wrong with it. He tries to discover the whereabouts of his mother's family but fails. This is probably the problem with the look of Warsaw, there are too many people missing from the scene.
"Digging" describes the agony of an addict searching for a vein; in his desperation he is "spitting prayers through the tourniquet" when he finally gets it "IN" the man shows a "welling gratitude" to God (note the connection to the "pissing blood" spurting out of the vein).
In another poem we turn up "In Hanway Street With Persian Ali" a former bridge designer now short order cook and drug addict.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These are wonderful poems! The collection feels completely contemporary, but Sam Willetts has all the traditional poetic virtues - a steady eye, an open heart and an exquisite way... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dorothea
Enjoyed this book of poems. Loved the undercurrent of dark humour and grief; the narratives of place and object that reveal the narrative of a life, connected to, and struggling... Read morePublished on 13 May 2013 by Cat Oswyn
It's rare for a first verse collection to garner even two reviews, so *five* top scores demanded I take a look, but these hard-earned poems fail to get airborne - unlike the jet... Read morePublished on 5 Feb. 2013 by Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso'