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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Collected Poems | Michael Longley

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In assembling the work of forty years, Longley’s Collected Poems displays a brilliantly sustained achievement, whose depth, beauty, and wit can now be fully appreciated. Longley’s poetry combines intense concentration with remarkable variety. The formal and thematic range laid down in No Continuing City (1969) has undergone a series of rich metamorphoses up to Snow Water (2004), and the two new poems included here as an epilogue. Longley’s genres span love poetry, war poetry, nature poetry, elegies, satires, verse epistles, poems that reflect on art and the art of poetry.

He has extended the capacity of the lyric to absorb dark matter: the Great War, the Holocaust, the Northern Irish Troubles. His poetic landscape intermingles Belfast (where he lives), western Ireland, Italy, Japan and Homeric Greece. Longley’s superb translations from classical poets (such as “Ceasefire,” which greets the IRA ceasefire in terms of The Iliad) speak to contemporary issues while activating the deepest sources of European poetry.

Note: The clothbound edition is signed by the author, and comes with a plain vellum jacket.


Reviews

“. . . a contemporary who should endure over the life of our language.”
– Donald Hall

“War—what it does to combatants and to their children—becomes a preoccupation throughout Longley’s work. . . . Yet marital love and tenderness, domestic calm and pastoral counterpoise also stand among Longley’s signature subjects. . . . Longley’s genius is pastoral and commemorative.”
– Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“I can’t think of a living poet who writes such incredible sonnets. . . . He travels with ease from the Iliad to his local fields. . . . It’s hard to tell if he’s a poet of regular life who is good at stumbling upon depth, or a deep poet who knows that the quotidian is precious. And it’s not clear that it matters.”
– Laurel Maury, The Los Angeles Times 

“. . . a wonderfully capacious book, at once stringent and delicate.”
– Andrew Motion, English Poet Laureate, The Guardian (London)

“Michael Longley’s Collected Poems is a volume of rare quality in many ways, not least in its unity. It makes visible for the first time the profound continuities in Longley’s work. . . . [A]n essential book for anyone interested in poetry: it bears witness to a rare sensibility, one which seldom falters in its patient fidelity to the highest artistic and ethical standards.”
– Caitríona O’Reilly, Times Literary Supplement 

“This wise, tender, beautifully cadenced work embraces man and nature, war and peace. A book to slow down with.”
– Niall MacMonagle, Irish Times

“Longley comes from an Ulster Protestant tradition but sees beyond tribe to the shared tragedy of conflict. I carry his work with me to the war zones of the world.”
– Fergal Keane, The London Times

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Description

In assembling the work of forty years, Longley’s Collected Poems displays a brilliantly sustained achievement, whose depth, beauty, and wit can now be fully appreciated. Longley’s poetry combines intense concentration with remarkable variety. The formal and thematic range laid down in No Continuing City (1969) has undergone a series of rich metamorphoses up to Snow Water (2004), and the two new poems included here as an epilogue. Longley’s genres span love poetry, war poetry, nature poetry, elegies, satires, verse epistles, poems that reflect on art and the art of poetry.

He has extended the capacity of the lyric to absorb dark matter: the Great War, the Holocaust, the Northern Irish Troubles. His poetic landscape intermingles Belfast (where he lives), western Ireland, Italy, Japan and Homeric Greece. Longley’s superb translations from classical poets (such as “Ceasefire,” which greets the IRA ceasefire in terms of The Iliad) speak to contemporary issues while activating the deepest sources of European poetry.

Note: The clothbound edition is signed by the author, and comes with a plain vellum jacket.


Reviews

“. . . a contemporary who should endure over the life of our language.”
– Donald Hall

“War—what it does to combatants and to their children—becomes a preoccupation throughout Longley’s work. . . . Yet marital love and tenderness, domestic calm and pastoral counterpoise also stand among Longley’s signature subjects. . . . Longley’s genius is pastoral and commemorative.”
– Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“I can’t think of a living poet who writes such incredible sonnets. . . . He travels with ease from the Iliad to his local fields. . . . It’s hard to tell if he’s a poet of regular life who is good at stumbling upon depth, or a deep poet who knows that the quotidian is precious. And it’s not clear that it matters.”
– Laurel Maury, The Los Angeles Times 

“. . . a wonderfully capacious book, at once stringent and delicate.”
– Andrew Motion, English Poet Laureate, The Guardian (London)

“Michael Longley’s Collected Poems is a volume of rare quality in many ways, not least in its unity. It makes visible for the first time the profound continuities in Longley’s work. . . . [A]n essential book for anyone interested in poetry: it bears witness to a rare sensibility, one which seldom falters in its patient fidelity to the highest artistic and ethical standards.”
– Caitríona O’Reilly, Times Literary Supplement 

“This wise, tender, beautifully cadenced work embraces man and nature, war and peace. A book to slow down with.”
– Niall MacMonagle, Irish Times

“Longley comes from an Ulster Protestant tradition but sees beyond tribe to the shared tragedy of conflict. I carry his work with me to the war zones of the world.”
– Fergal Keane, The London Times

Additional information

Publication date:

2007

Pages:

368

Binding:

,