Being Human (Paperback)Neil Astley (author)
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd
Number of pages: 512
Weight: 680 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 26 mm
Astley is wonderful at selecting poems with the kind of talismanic lines that really speak to people... Not only are the poems clustered by broad theme, with a lively introduction to each section by Astley, but within those groupings they speak to each other, in substance or across time...This collection certainly continues the excellent work of its predecessors, bringing new work and poets to audiences, and drawing new readers to poetry, and at a mere GBP12 for 500 poems, no one will be deterred from taking a risk. Being Human is stimulating, inspiring, intelligent, witty and life-affirming, the perfect companion on a journey, literal and otherwise. -- Peggy Hughes * Scotland on Sunday *
Where Staying Alive and Being Alive were filled with poems that felt exigent, essential (even, in the case of Mary Oliver's subsequently much-quoted "Wild Geese", talismanic), the atmosphere of Being Human, as its title suggests, is more contemplative. Time - its passage and our relationship to it - is the overarching subject, and the section that tackles it specifically, "About time", sits at the heart of the book. Trains and rivers wind their way through the poems, memory is interrogated, and the moments of suspension in which, as Louis MacNeice has it, "Time was away and somewhere else", are rejoiced in... That act of noticing is what poetry ought to do, and what many of the superb poems in this anthology achieve. Let's hear it for modern verse. -- Sarah Crown * Guardian *
Neil Astley's indispensable, endlessly surprising trilogy... The newest and last of these contains all the manifold virtues of the earlier two: another startlingly varied, unexpected and entirely accessible collection of contemporary poems - 500 per volume, no small undertaking - exploring the stuff of life, what Louis MacNeice called "this mad weir of tigerish waters/A prism of delight and pain". -- Catherine Lockerbie * The Scotsman *
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