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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

The Candlelight Master

$14.95

Available for pre-order

“I can’t bear the thought of a world without Michael Longley, yet his poetry keeps hurtling towards that fact more and more urgently as it stretches in an unflinching way beyond comfort or certainty.” So wrote Maria Johnston, reviewing Longley’s previous book, Angel Hill. Yet The Candlelight Master does not only face into shadows. The title poem sums up the chiaroscuro of this collection, named after a mysterious Baroque painter. Other poems about painters—Matisse, Bonnard—imply that age makes the quest for artistic perfection all the more vital. A poem addressed to the eighth-century Japanese poet, Otomo Yakamochi, says: “We gaze on our soul-landscapes / More intensely with every year.” The soul-landscape of The Candlelight Master is often a landscape of memory. But if Longley looks back over formative experiences, and over the forms he has given them, he channels memory into freshly fluid structures. His new poems about war and the Holocaust speak to our own dark times. Translation brings dead poets up to date, too. The bawdy of Catullus becomes Scots “Hochmagandy.” Yakamochi and the lyric poets of Ancient Greece find themselves at home in Longley’s Carrigskeewaun.


Praise for Michael Longley

“In his poems of the natural world, Longley is still a master of miniatures: there is an astonished, almost shortsighted intensity to the way he looks at what lies around him, in his familiar Carrigskeewaun habitat as well as in the Scottish locales this collection also visits.”
– John McAuliffe, The Irish Times

“His is a poetics of perpetual return and recognition—seeing again and afresh—that is never grounded in one place.… Unafraid to capture the intimacies and specifics of this life, Longley is also one of the very few poets able to take us, time and again, to a place as ‘Wild and melodious’ as the birdsong he celebrates.”
– Fran Brearton, The Guardian

SKU: 978-1-930630-93-2 Categories: , , ,

Description

Available for pre-order

“I can’t bear the thought of a world without Michael Longley, yet his poetry keeps hurtling towards that fact more and more urgently as it stretches in an unflinching way beyond comfort or certainty.” So wrote Maria Johnston, reviewing Longley’s previous book, Angel Hill. Yet The Candlelight Master does not only face into shadows. The title poem sums up the chiaroscuro of this collection, named after a mysterious Baroque painter. Other poems about painters—Matisse, Bonnard—imply that age makes the quest for artistic perfection all the more vital. A poem addressed to the eighth-century Japanese poet, Otomo Yakamochi, says: “We gaze on our soul-landscapes / More intensely with every year.” The soul-landscape of The Candlelight Master is often a landscape of memory. But if Longley looks back over formative experiences, and over the forms he has given them, he channels memory into freshly fluid structures. His new poems about war and the Holocaust speak to our own dark times. Translation brings dead poets up to date, too. The bawdy of Catullus becomes Scots “Hochmagandy.” Yakamochi and the lyric poets of Ancient Greece find themselves at home in Longley’s Carrigskeewaun.


Praise for Michael Longley

“In his poems of the natural world, Longley is still a master of miniatures: there is an astonished, almost shortsighted intensity to the way he looks at what lies around him, in his familiar Carrigskeewaun habitat as well as in the Scottish locales this collection also visits.”
– John McAuliffe, The Irish Times

“His is a poetics of perpetual return and recognition—seeing again and afresh—that is never grounded in one place.… Unafraid to capture the intimacies and specifics of this life, Longley is also one of the very few poets able to take us, time and again, to a place as ‘Wild and melodious’ as the birdsong he celebrates.”
– Fran Brearton, The Guardian

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