Lee Harwood - Collected Poems


Lee Harwood - Collected Poems

Paperback, 521pp, 9x6ins 
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A major event, this volume is the first career-spanning collection of Lee Harwood's work, and its publication was timed to coincide with the author's 65th birthday in June 2004. Most of Lee Harwood's previous work is out of print, including the large-scale Selected Poems (crossing the frozen river) published by Paladin in the late 1980s, and this Collected makes all of it available again, including some hard-to-find material and some more recent uncollected work.


"He makes use of avant-garde poetic techniques not to dramatise a radical scepticism about language or meaning, but in order to recover for poetry the kinds of 'directness' or expressive energy postmodernism has taught us to distrust. And if his loose, airy structures, his occasional use of ideograms and his fractured syntax suggest that his oeuvre will be undertaking some acute investigation of uncertainty or anxiety, its overall impact is in fact just the opposite — his best work is fresh, vivid and confident, infused with a buoyancy and optimism and delight that is both winning and sustaining." (Mark Ford, The Guardian, 18 September 2004)

"Harwood's work returns to local habitations and names, the lives of family, elegies for friends, to direct communication among intimates. These vividly rendered, plain-style evocations, intercut with speculation and emotion, construct improvised holding environments where the home world and the safety of loved ones are primary. Despite the conclusion to 'Plato Was Right Though', he has experienced how the aesthetic and the ethical cannot be disentangled, how poetic value will not exist without a leavening of social fact. His Collected Poems 1964-2004 documents a strategically ingenuous exploration of such issues — which is one of the reasons why much of the work gathered here is so distinctly good." (Peter Robinson, Times Literary Supplement, 26 November 2004.


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