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The Book of Demons

Overview

Barry MacSweeney wrote his first poem 42 years ago at the age of seven. He has been an alcoholic since he was 16; two years ago his hard drinking almost cost him his life. After a series of life-threatening fits and convulsions, which culminated with his being hooked up to life support in a hospital, MacSweeney underwent rehabilitation through detoxification in several hospitals and an addiction clinic. The Book of Demons records his fierce fight against addiction, the demonic visions that arose, and still arise,...
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Overview

Barry MacSweeney wrote his first poem 42 years ago at the age of seven. He has been an alcoholic since he was 16; two years ago his hard drinking almost cost him his life. After a series of life-threatening fits and convulsions, which culminated with his being hooked up to life support in a hospital, MacSweeney underwent rehabilitation through detoxification in several hospitals and an addiction clinic. The Book of Demons records his fierce fight against addiction, the demonic visions that arose, and still arise, and the great love of those who helped save his life.

Between times of ravaging, though, MacSweeney wrote the sequence Pearl, included here as a prelude to The Book of Demons. While Demons is a book of hard relentless experience, Pearl is pure lyrical innocence, a poetic sequence of harmlessness before harm set in. Pearl is an ode to the mute Northumbrian girl of the same name, whom MacSweeney taught to read and write on a slate in the rain, his first love.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852244149
  • Publisher: Bloodaxe Books
  • Publication date: 5/15/1998
  • Pages: 110
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.17 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Table of Contents

Looking Down From the West Window 11
Sweet Jesus: Pearl's Prayer 12
Pearl's Utter Brilliance 13
Pearl Says 14
No Such Thing 15
Mony Ryal Ray 16
No Buses To Damascus 17
Pearl Suddenly Awake 18
Fever 19
The Shells Her Auburn Hair Did Show 20
Pearl Alone 22
Cavalry At Calvary 23
From The Land Of Tumblestones 24
Dark Was The Night And Cold Was The Ground 25
Pearl And Barry Pick Rosehips For The Good Of The Country 26
Those Sandmartin Tails 27
Woe, Woe, Woe 28
Blizzard: So Much Bad Fortune 29
Lost Pearl 30
Pearl's Poem Of Joy And Treasure 31
Pearl At 4am 32
Pearl's Final Say-So 33
Ode To Beauty Strength And Joy And In Memory Of The Demons 37
Free Pet With Every Cage 39
Buying Christmas Wrapping Paper On January 12 41
We Offer You One Third Off Plenitude 43
Daddy Wants To Murder Me 44
Angel Showing Lead Shot Damage 49
Shreds Of Mercy/The Merest Shame 50
In With The Stasi 52
Pasolini Demon Memo 54
Nil By Mouth: The Tongue Poem 56
Demons In My Pocket 57
The Horror 61
Demons Swarm Upon Our Man And Tell The World He's Lost 63
Hooray Demons Salute The Forever Lost Parliament Of Barry And Jacqueline 65
When The Candles Were Lit 67
Pearl Against The Barbed Wire 68
Nothing Are These Times 72
Dead Man's Handle 74
Himself Bright Starre Northern Within 76
Anne Sexton Blues 82
Your Love Is A Swarm And An Unbeguiled Swanne 84
Strap Down In Snowville 85
Sweeno, Sweeno 88
Up a Height And Raining 94
Tom In The Market Square Outside Boots 99
John Bunyan To Johnny Rotten 103
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