'I wish to God that I were more intelligent and everything would finally become clear to me - or else that I didn't live much longer!' "Clarity or Death!" takes its title from this letter of Wittgenstein's. That desire for clarity in our knowledge of the world, the universe and ourselves is the linking preoccupation of Jeffrey Wainwright's collection. Five poems develop the physicist Richard Feynman's proposition that through scientific study 'we may be able to reduce the number of different things'. Others ponder infinity and number. These poems are both playful and intellectually rigorous, exploring not only ideas but the experience of having and articulating them. They play alongside other aspects of personal experience. Central to Wainwright's writing is a fascination with what Wallace Stevens called 'the uncertain light of single, certain truth', an uncertain light embodied in the sensuousness of language given poetic form.
Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd