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Then Paperback – 25 Apr 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Man Booker International Prize 2017
A Horse Walks Into a Bar has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017. Learn more
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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd (25 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847771181
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847771186
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 0.8 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,126,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'Brackenbury loves, lives, hymns and rhymes the natural world and its people like no other poet.' --Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales

'Alison Brackenbury's poetry might walk the old ways, in its gracefully contained rhymed forms and in the country life and landscape it describes, but its sensibility is acute and present even when part of that presence is the past.' --Philip Gross

'The delicate particularity [...] of her style chimes with that of the world. [...] One hopes that Brackenbury's kind of distinctive formal sensibility won't disappear any time soon.' --Vidyan Ravinthiran, Poetry London

About the Author

Alison Brackenbury was born in Lincolnshire in 1953 and studied at Oxford. She now lives in Gloucestershire, where she worked for many years as a director and manual worker, in the family metal finishing business. Her Carcanet collections include Dreams of Power (1981), Breaking Ground (1984), Christmas Roses (1988), Selected Poems (1991), 1829 (1995), After Beethoven (2000) and Bricks and Ballads (2004). Her poems have been included on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and 1829 was produced by Julian May for Radio 3. Her work recently won a Cholmondeley Award. Her previous collection, Singing in the Dark (2008) was praised as 'A quiet lyricism and delight' (the Guardian).


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Format: Paperback
Alison Brackenbury has been writing carefully crafted and quietly moving poetry for many years and Then is her seventh collection. It offers us some really fascinating and enjoyable poetry; covering a range of subjects, introspective and outward looking, contemplative and even comic. History - personal and universal - is a common source of inspiration, and there are poems here that might actually be of use in our lives, poems about loss (for instance The Shed) but also of sudden joy (like Take Off). Mostly, whatever starting point, they are about people - relatives and friends and also The Beatles and Shackleton and Mozart. It takes a certain nerve to have such a broad pallet, and Brackenbury's nerve is steely and rewards us with good poem after good, un-self conscious, poem. A real pleasure to read and I imagine to hear read (she really should be on The Poetry Archive, surely?). I offer it four stars only because to give anything five stars is slightly vulgar. Time will tell, although it may well be a five star book in due course.
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Format: Paperback
Hardy lite - elegaic, pedestrian. When the woman pops up doing the gardening in her bikini in Ditches the effect is electric

Brackenbury uses the monosyllable effectively: 'I rode one horse, the strong bay, with great heart' from After the Funeral, and four lines later the even more telling 'from dazzle of sun which will drink us again'; both these lines benefit from internal rhyme. Then there's 'Oh my black heart', positively the four best words in the collection. But set against those 'How rich and dark was the crumb of cake' - to which topic Brackenbury even devotes an entire poem! She mentions pills three times and calls herself old (Rosie); she's only 59! I thought grandchildren were supposed to keep you young? And I do find the cover (a Guatemalan ritual) more than a tad inappropriate
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the most beautiful books of poetry I have read for many years. I return to it again and again.
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This is an intelligent and carefully sculpted collection of poetry. The poems can stand alone as such is the velocity in some of the words. Alison Brackenbury shows her deep love of nature, her political and social commentary and her exquisite sensitivity - some wonderful examples of form.
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love it
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