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To Hell With Paradise - New and Selected Poems

To Hell With Paradise - New and Selected Poems

Gareth Reeves

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To Hell with Paradise is a wonderfully various and mature collection by a scrupulous and accomplished writer. It distills Gareth Reeves’ collections Real Stories (1984) and Listening In (1993), adding previously unpublished poems and sequences, including a selection from Nuncle Music, a sequence of monologues in the voice of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich.

Distance was the occasion for poems in Real Stories: in California, where Reeves lived from 1970-1975, he wrote about England, in England about California. Distance is not only geographical: poems explore the landscape of memory too. From Listening In comes the sequence, by turns humorous, painful, wry and eloquent, about Reeves’s father, poet and critic James Reeves.

The poems are enlivened by what Gavin Ewart called a ‘negative spikiness’. 'The new poems ... are a bravura performance – spare, powerful, contained and witty.... The poet’s ear has perfect pitch.... His emotional reach into the realms of pain, loss, ageing and associated existential vertigo is all the more impressive for its formal minimalism and restraint. ‘Is there life after poetry?’ he asks at one point: not without poems like this, the reader may feel.... It is a heady experience.'

Additional Information

Author Gareth Reeves
Publisher Carcanet
Publication date 1 Aug 2012
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9781847771445

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