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Pure Contradiction: Selected Poems

Rainer Maria Rilke

Pure Contradiction: Selected Poems

This selection of poems from throughout Rilke's creative output is arranged not chronologically, but by placing poems of similar themes and / or modes of expression close to one another, making bed-fellows of poems rarely seen together. The aim is to illuminate the underlying themes which Rilke said he had arrived at very early in his life.

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Six Vowels and Twenty Three Consonants: An Anthology of Persian Poetry from Rudaki to Langroodi

ed. Ali Alizadeh and John Kinsella

Six Vowels and Twenty Three Consonants: An Anthology of Persian Poetry from Rudaki to Langroodi

This is a groundbreaking new collection of poems presenting the wealth of poetic voices from one of the world's most important literary cultures. The book covers poetry from the early Middle Ages to the Modernists and Postmodernists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Days Full of Caves & Tigers

Fabio Pusterla

Days Full of Caves & Tigers

This selection is drawn from six collections which span Pusterla's poetic career from 1985 to 2011. Pusterla's themes are many and varied, and there is a spareness and austerity about his poetry - which one feels is more 'Alpine' than Swiss - born of the age-old struggle with a harsh natural environment.

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The Parley Tree

ed. Patrick Williamson

The Parley Tree

Poetry is one of the major forms of literary expression in both Africa and the Arab World and this anthology endeavours to provide the reader with a glimpse of the most representative voices of the poetic movements, and generations, in the French-speaking countries of these two regions, at the same time as doing away with the divisions and distinctions between the countries of Africa. The poets anthologized here - from North Africa, Sub Saharan Africa and the Arab World - have long wished to escape from artificial pigeon-holing and rather to be associated with common threads. The past half-century has confirmed their work as poetry of great literary quality, full of a unique vitality and presence, and this anthology enables an English-speaking readership to discover and savour these distinctive voices

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Bloodhoof

Gerður Kristný

Bloodhoof

Bloodhoof is the re-casting into compulsively spare modern verse of an ancient Eddic poem - but this only begins to hint at its attractions. It is a minimalist epic telling of the abduction of Gerdur Gymisdottir from the land of giants to the court of Freyr of the 'wolf-grey eyes', and the subsequent events culminating in the birth of her son and her hopes of being saved by her own kin.

It is full of iron-hard rocks and ice, serpents in the breast gnawing at the harness of hope, but also wide-reaching fields of corn whispering in the breeze and a throne carved with beasts and dragons-heads. You could read the whole book in perhaps half an hour but it will take many months or years to begin to clear the ghosts and long-dead heroes from your mind.

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As I Said

Lev Loseff

As I Said

These poems are written from across the poet's life, contemplating his native land of Russia from both a literal and a figurative distance, while at the same time casting a sometimes jaundiced eye on the alien culture of America in which he spent the final years of his life. Loseff's poetry excels in complex imagery, rich literary allusion, and is abundant in formal experiment. Whether absorbed by the world of literature (particularly his fellow poets) or relating real-life experiences, Loseff conjures up a restless and frequently disturbing universe.

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Sweet Torture of Breathing

Lorna Thorpe

Sweet Torture of Breathing

This second collection deals with Lorna Thorpe's near brush with death following a cardiac arrest, and the psychic death that preceded it. There are also poems about people who died before their time, but Thorpe is still here and concludes with poems celebrating the sensual pleasures and chaos of love and living in a defiant and vulnerable voice.

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Ai! Ai! Pianissimo

Astrid Alben

Ai! Ai! Pianissimo

In the author's own words:
"She loves a laid-back allusiveness. She loves the unusual. The 'shifting voices'. She thinks the poems might be musical in structure. She loves Debussy. A happiness addict he (from a letter to Poniatoski). The left foot keeps rhythm with the right. It's more about forlorn than about form: the raw desire and an exploration of un-belonging. The eel in surreal. This means they have a deceptively improvised feel. A particular groove. This makes it what is known as authentic. It's all gorgeously erotic. With the lightness of touch that she loves. The moments of original comedy she loves, a rare ability to maintain and withhold tension she loves. She loves."

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Six Latvian Poets

ed. Ieva Lesinska

Six Latvian Poets

An anthology showcasing the generation of Latvian poets who started writing and publishing after the country gained independence following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. All six have been shortlisted for or received the top Latvian literary prizes yet have retained their ability to surprise and refusal to pander to any convention.

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Farewell to the Earth

Christopher James

Farewell to the Earth

In Christopher James' mercurial second collection, Seamus Heaney breaks down in a lane; John Lennon haunts the Great Wall of China while an archaeologist is exhumed sometime in the distant future. This is where the living and the dead intermingle like passengers waiting nervously for a flight.

Reaching from the Humber to the Thames; Cromer to Kathmandu, it's a dizzying and unpredictable world tour that veers in and out of reality like a plane passing through a cloud. In the shadow of environmental disaster and the possibility of dragons, there are more mundane dramas to face too: house moves, family secrets, marriage proposals that do not go to plan, and children woken in the night by rain.

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