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Selected Poems of C. H. Sisson

Selected Poems of C. H. Sisson

by M. L. Rosenthal (Foreword by), C. H. Sisson

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sisson is the quintessential English litterateur: career civil servant, poet with over 20 collections published since 1959, essayist, editor, novelist, critic and translator (Latin and other languages). The first poems here date from WW II; the last, a sequence, was written in 1995 when Sisson was 81. Throughout, his concerns are similiar: identity; mind and body; age; culture; landscape. His judgments of himself, and of humanity generally, are often harsh. "I have no person fit for resurrection," he says in an early poem; in one of the latest he writes, "So fumbling bodies try to make/ Friendship and love as best they can:/ None ever was without mistake/ and lies by woman and by man." Sisson is consistently plain, if not always clear; in these poems, he is rarely adventurous in meter or language. Individual poems"On My 51st Birthday" and "The Mappemonde"are outstanding, but the collection overall has a one-note tone and seems somewhat dated and weighty. (June)

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New Directions Publishing Corporation
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