Black Cat Bone

by John Burnside

eBooks of the Month Poetry

Black Cat Bone Synopsis

Winner of the T S Eliot Prize for Poetry 2011.

John Burnside's remarkable new book is full of strange, unnerving poems that hang in the memory like a myth or a song. These are poems of thwarted love and disappointment, of raw desire, of the stalking beast, 'eye-teeth/and muzzle/coated with blood'; poems that recognise 'we have too much to gain from the gods, and this is why/they fail to love us'; and, poems that tell of an obsessive lover coming to grief in a sequence that echoes the old murder ballads, or of a hunter losing himself in the woods while pursuing an unknown and possibly unknowable quarry. Drawing on sources as various as the paintings of Pieter Brueghel and the lyrics of Delta blues, Black Cat Bone examines varieties of love, faith, hope and illusion, to suggest an unusual possibility: that when the search for what we expected to find - in the forest or in our own hearts - ends in failure, we can now begin the hard and disciplined quest for what is actually there. Full of risk and wonder, Black Cat Bone shows the range of Burnside's abilities, but also strikes out for new territories. He remains consistently, though, one of our finest living lyric poets and each of these astonishing poems is as clear and memorable as 'a silver bracelet/falling for days/through an inch and a half/of ice'.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780224093859
Publication date: 04/08/2011
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Vintage
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780224093859
Publication date: 4th August 2011
Author: John Burnside
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Vintage
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 80 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Poetry,
Categories: Poetry by individual poets,

About John Burnside

John Burnside has published eleven previous collections of poetry, including among them The Asylum Dance, which won the 2000 Whitbread Poetry Award, and six works of fiction - most recently the novel, A Summer of Drowning, which came out this year. He has also written two books of memoirs, A Lie About My Father and Waking Up In Toytown.

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