Selected Poems (Cape Poetry) Hardcover – 21 Mar 2002
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The hardback edition of the first selected poems by one of our most popular - and commercially successful - poets.
From the Inside Flap
Representing the best of ten books and twenty years' work, these are the secret, spiky narratives from the arch story-teller, the mixer of hilarity and menace, the past-master of fractured realism - a magical mystery tour into the strange, unsettling world that is Matthew Sweeney's haunted imagination.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Sweeney's landscape is predominantly that of serf - corpses (the already-dead), suicides (the nearly-dead), hermits and other assorted sad cases (the living dead), and those in dysfunctional relationships (the emotionally-dead) - and yet his overall mood is curiously uplifting, taking an ironic view of the trials of life, and a calm, benevolent omniscience in the face of the natural processes of death and decomposition. He also uses a wide range of geographical locations, from his native Ireland, across Europe, the Caribbean, the Arctic, and even the Moon, to create a sense of expansive space, void, isolation, but especially that existentialist sense of adventure which he presents as the only attitude which makes modern life bearable.
Judging by its content, it may initally seem dour, but Sweeney's poetry is full of warmth and humour, even in its murkiest waters, and, when on his best form (my favourite is "Princess"), very rewarding. Highly recommended as an introduction to the work of this artist.
This is a nice collection and I am enjoying it very much.
When I want to be depressed I normally turn, with relish, to the short stories of Mary Lavin; now I can look out the latest Sweeney! If I want cheering up again I might turn to Gwyneth Lewis's searing yet feisty Hospital Odyssey or the anarchic-depressive Frank Kuppner or all manner of outrageous Americans. Who tend not to be depressive. Yet.