From Dylan Thomas's eighteen straight whiskies to Sylvia Plath's desperate suicide in the gas oven of her Primrose Hill kitchen; from Chatterton's Pre-Raphaelite demise to Keats' death warrant in a smudge of arterial blood, the deaths of poets have often cast a backward shadow on their work.
The post-Romantic lore of the dissolute drunken poet has fatally skewed the image of poets in our culture. Novelists can be stable, savvy, politically adept and in control, but poets should be melancholic, doomed and self-destructive.
Is this just an illusion , or is there some essential truth behind it? What is the price of poetry?
In this book, two contemporary poets embark on a series of journeys to the death places of poets of the past, in part as pilgrims, but also as investigators, interrogating the myth.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 342 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 27 mm
"A terrifically entertaining book: thoughtful, funny, informative, with an eye for good quotes and anecdotes." - Guardian
"A rollicking mixture of literary biography, commentary, travelogue and anecdotage, much of it deeply amusing." - Evening Standard
"... just the right balance of panache, wit, insight and elegy... A good, clever, kindly and enjoyable book it is, like eavesdropping on two smarter friends when they are sparking off each other..." - Scotland on Sunday
"Deaths of the Poets is packed with anecdotes and macabre frisons; its forays through some of poetry's more sensational edge-lands make for a compelling read." - Literary Review
"Deaths of the Poets is a gripping, witty read, but also asks serious questions about the way the post-Romantic myth of the doomed poet skews the way we interpret their work." - Mail on Sunday
You may also be interested in...
“An interesting travelogue - eye opening and not morbid! ”
I was recommended this by a colleague and despite having very little interest in poetry, I was enchanted by the myth of the tortured soul of the poet and artist and wanted to see where this book took it. It reads like... More
“A quirky contribution to eerie legends”
I admittedly have a keen interest in Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Robert Lowell etc., and so this book sounded right up my street - and it is. The book reads like an intimate road-trip with the two authors (who are... More
Please sign in to write a review