Susan wrote the poems in batches of half a dozen or more, from 1965 onwards, in what she described as manic bursts of creativity, announcing with her typically light-hearted ironic self-depreciation, 'The muse has struck me!' But these poems are anything but light-hearted, and even a first reading will reveal clearly that levity is not on the menu in a universe 'Where there are no jokes / And people do not pretend.'
Susan's output in the final ten years of her life was prolific and to mark the fortieth anniversary of her death, the poems in this present collection have been published for the first time, together with a revised, expanded edition of The Dream of Stairs.
Three other volumes are being simultaneously published: Collected Poems, incorporating the above three poetry collections in one volume; and two prose works: A Flock of Blackbirds, featuring a selection of Susan's short stories and novellas, and her novel Drifting Between Empty Tramlines.
Many of the poems in Before and After the Darkness and Inside the Stretch of My Heart are triggered by the quotidian experience of living and working in central London in the late 1960s and early 1970s, yet beneath the fragile surface of her acute observations of domestic and office life in the city, intensely spiritual insights are being played out, sometimes delicately, sometimes shockingly, but always movingly.
Profits from the sales of all six volumes are being donated to three charities: Mind, the Samaritans and Sane. Facsimiles of the original typescripts and manuscripts are available online at:
|Publisher:||Aesop Poets, an imprint of Aesop Publications|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.25(d)|
About the Author
Educated at Croydon High School, Susan studied English at Somerville College, Oxford. After graduating, Susan worked in London, first at the Royal National Institute for the Blind, dictating books for transcription into Braille, and later at the National Central Library in London, where she qualified as a Chartered Librarian.
Susan's exceptional sensitivity was reflected in the prolific outpouring of poems that make up Before and After the Darkness, Inside the Stretch of My Heart and The Dream of Stairs. In these intense, haunting poems, she chronicles her personal response to the world around her, while vividly portraying the inner landscape of her mental and emotional struggle.
'There was an intellectual and emotional intensity which burned within her and which predominantly found outward expression in her writing and when she expressed herself thus she did so with great imaginative power and also with an uncompromising honesty and integrity.' (Rabbi Dr David Goldstein)