Tongues of Fire (Paperback)Sean Hewitt (author)
- In stock
Burning with a spiritual intensity and near-liturgical lyricism, Hewitt’s debut collection probes weighty themes with a self-assurance and lightness of touch astonishing for a first publication. Passionate, opaque and affecting, Tongues of Fire is a stunning example of the poet’s art.
Shortlisted for the Sunday Times / University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award 2020
A remarkable first collection by an important new poet
In this collection, Sean Hewitt gives us poems of a rare musicality and grace. By turns searing and meditative, these are lyrics concerned with the matter of the world, its physicality, but also attuned to the proximity of each moment, each thing, to the spiritual.
Here, there is sex, grief, and loss, but also a committed dedication to life, hope and renewal. Drawing on the religious, the sacred and the profane, this is a collection in which men meet in the woods, where matter is corrupted and remade. There are prayers, hymns, vespers, incantations, and longer poems which attempt to propel themselves towards the transcendent.
In this book, there is always the sense of fragility allied with strength, a violence harnessed and unleashed. The collection ends with a series of elegies for the poet's father: in the face of despair, we are met with a fierce brightness, and a reclamation of the spiritual. 'This is when / we make God, and speak in his voice.'
Paying close attention to altered states and the consolations and strangeness of the natural world, this is the first book from a major poet.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 80
Weight: 100 g
Dimensions: 198 x 134 x 7 mm
'This is an extraordinary collection - heart-bruising, tender - one to cherish, and live by. Though Hewitt moves us through anguish and destruction, love still glows; and in the dark undoings of these poems, decay lights the wildwood with its strange, ethereal foxfire. As Hewitt writes, "it is hard to tell where heaven starts"; I find it in these poems, which are beyond-gorgeous, beyond-glorious, blood-felt, feral, luminous.' - Fiona Benson
'Sean Hewitt understands that poetic form is sacred and mysterious. In these godforsaken times his reverent procedures are food for the soul.' - Michael Longley
'I fell in love with these wild, heartsore, ecstatic poems. They lead us to deep, hushed places - in the woods and heaths, in our hearts and bodies - and unearth such tenderness and dark treasure. Tongues of Fire is a beautiful book and Sean Hewitt is an extraordinary writer.' - Liz Berry
'It is extraordinary to encounter a debut collection that feels as established as Sean Hewitt's... These unmediated poems are, at the same time, charged: they pull you in swiftly, you become immersed.' - Kate Kellaway, Observer
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