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Rough Music by Fiona Sampson
  

Rough Music

Poetry   
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Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry 2010.

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Former concert violinist Fiona Sampson’s delicate and delightful new lyrics score the liminal line where language and music dance, these ‘Songs without Tunes’ resounding with rhythm and cadence pitched to perfection, the deft counterpoint of major and minor ringing through your thoughts long after the last page has turned. A medley of folksong and ballad, carol and charm, ‘From the Adulteress’s Songbook’ to the ‘Schubertiad’, these poems revel in rendering movement, both physical and musical, tracing the “hushhush” swoop of a skater, sounding the “staggered chord” of betrayal, and offering a ‘First Theory of Movement’ as a shimmering play of light across all that is numinous. It is ultimately the words that truly sing, the themes both intimate and infinite, the imagery rich and resonant with a grace that lingers long in the mind.

Synopsis

Rough Music by Fiona Sampson

'Rough music' is the old English name for a custom of public scapegoating. This is a book full of disturbing musical echoes, in which brilliant renewals of carol, charm, folksong and ballad explore themes of violence, loss and belonging. Fiona Sampson's characteristic lyric intensity deftly fuses metaphysics and politics with the vernacular of daily life.

Reviews

From reviews of Common Prayer:

'Urgent, acrobatically alert poems alternate with the comparative stillness of a series of love sonnets. Here, too, the imagination is always at work, demonstrating that curiosity is a form of passion.' - Sean O'Brien, The Sunday Times

'That she is also a very fine poet indeed seems almost impertinent of her, but that is what she is - Sampson's free verse soon surprises by its seductive ease and its vivid rendition of he ordinary, material world. This perfect equilibrium between the numinous and the touchable is typical of Sampson's achievement.' - Adam Thorpe, the Guardian

'Fiona Sampson burst onto the literary landscape as the brilliant young editor of Poetry Review a couple of years ago. In Common Prayer, her subject is darkness of many kinds, erotic or lonely, histories of Eastern Europe, abandonment. She finds a subtle suggestion of sexual gesture in unexpected places.' - Elaine Feinstein, The Times

About the Author

Fiona Sampson

Fiona Sampson has been published in more than thirty-five languages. She has sixteen books in translation, and has received the Zlaten Prsten (Macedonia), the Charles Angoff Award (US), the 2016: Slovo Podgrmec Prize and the Povelji za međunarodnu saradnju Award (Bosnia) and the Aark Arts International Poetry Prize (India) and been shortlisted for the Evelyn Encelot Prize for European Women Poets. From 2005-2012 she was the Editor of Poetry Review; she is now Professor of Poetry at the University of Roehampton, where she is the Director of the Roehampton Poetry Centre and Editor of Poem. A Fellow and Council Member of the Royal Society of Literature, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of the English Association, Fellow of the Higher Education Association, Trustee of the Wordsworth Trust and Patron of the Anglo-Russian Cultural Institute, her publications include twenty-seven volumes of poetry, criticism and philosophy of language. She has received the Newdigate Prize, the Cholmondeley Award, a Hawthornden Fellowship, Kathleen Blundell and Oppenheimer-John Downes Awards from the Society of Authors, a number of Writer's Awards from both the English and the Welsh Arts Councils, and various Poetry Book Society commendations, and she has been shortlisted for the Evelyn Encelot Prize for European Women Poets as well as twice for both the T.S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prizes. A prolific broadsheet and national radio critic, she has held a number of international writing fellowships, and served on international juries including in Canada, Ireland, Slovenia and the UK. She is a member of the Atheneum. Recent books include a new edition of the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley for Faber. Her Selected Poems have recently appeared in the US (Sheep Meadow, 2013) China (2014), Romania and Ukraine (both 2015) and in Serbian (2016). She is at work on a biography of Mary Shelley (Profile, 2017) and a monograph on Limestone Country, (Little Toller, 2017), and her study of musical form in poetry (Lyric Cousins, Edinburgh University Press), and her new collection The Catch (Penguin Random House) both appeared in 2016.

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Book Info

Publication date

28th May 2010

Author

Fiona Sampson

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Publisher

Carcanet Press Ltd

Format

Paperback
64 pages

Categories

Poetry by individual poets

ISBN

9781847770455

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