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This title in other editions

District and Circle: Poems

by

District and Circle: Poems Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

District and Circle inhabits the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty-first century. In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory. Scenes from a childhood spent far from the horrors of World War II are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that “Anything can happen,” and other images from the dangerous presenta firemans helmet, a journey on the Underground, a melting glacierare fraught with this same anxiety. But the volume, which includes some “found prose” poems and translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language. With more relish and conviction than ever, Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals.
Seamus Heaney's first collection, Death of a Naturalist, appeared forty years ago. Since then he has published poetry, criticism, and translations that have established him as one of the leading poets of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Seamus Heaney's new collection starts "In an age of bare hands and cast iron" and ends as "The automatic lock / clunks shut" in the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty-first century. In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory. Images from of a childhood spent far from the horrors of World War II are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that "Anything can happen," and other images from the dangerous presenta journey on the Underground, a melting glacierare fraught with this same anxiety.

But District and Circle, which includes some "found prose" and a number of translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language. In a sequence like "The Tollund Man in Springtime" and in several poems which "do the rounds of the district"its known roads and rivers and trees, its familiar and unfamiliar ghoststhreats to the planet are intuited in the local place, yet a lyric force prevails. With more relish and conviction than ever, Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals.

"Nobel prize winner Heaney's latest collection of robust lyrics celebrates work, memory, and the physicality of existence . . . these poems are scored into the page with Heaney's signature accentual and alliterative force. They demonstrate that words can be braced and wedged and lifted and swung from the shoulder, leaving almost physical traces of the objects they name . . . Heaney's poetry presents the 'mass and majesty of this world' with unparalleled vigor. Recommended."Fred Muratori, Library Journal
"District and Circle plays rich variations on old themes. For all its roughening rhyming, there's a remarkable consistency to Heaney's oeuvre over the decadesa personal evolution strikingly clear of self-repudiations and dead-ends. The author of District and Circle is unmistakably the flourishing direct descendant of his first collection, Death of a Naturalist (1966) . . . District and Circle brims with lovely evocations, reconstructions, restorations: a fireman's helmet, a barber shop fitted into a 'one-room one-chimney house'; an aerodrome; a man playing a saw 'inside the puddle doorway / of a downtown shop in Belfast' . . . His voice carries the authenticity and believability of the plainspokeneven though (herein his magic) his words are anything but plainspoken. His stanzas are dense echo chambers of contending nuances and ricocheting sounds. And his is the gift of saying something extraordinary while, line by line, conveying a sense that this is something an ordinary person might actually say."Brad Leithauser, The New York Times Book Review 
 
"Thomas Wolf notwithstanding, Seamus Heaney has gone home again, and the resultDistrict and Circleis his strongest book of poems in 20 years . . . This volume is as work- and earth-centered as Heaney has been in years. It is a triumph . . . Those early Heaney books remain the standard, but even they become renewed and transformed through the lens of this new masterpiece."Dave Lucas, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
 
"If literary history (and its brutal instrument, the anthology) preserves only this poem from so impressive a volume, it will be enough to remind us why Heaney remains such a celebrated poet, why many place him firmly among the best of the 20th century and why his work continues to be worth rereading long after it has, in his words, 'set the darkness echoing' behind it."Anthony Cuda, The Washington Post
 
"This is one of those remarkable books of poetry which demonstrates with particular suddenness and clarity, what poems of the finest quality are really good for. They re-energize the language, and by doing so, they serve to quicken the reader's soul."The Economist

 

"This book does not come full circle but expands outward as the past resonates 'Always new to me, always familiar.' The poems achieved are graspable physical objects, not 'infinite,' but so wide and so deep, and solid . . . No poet alive uses the sonnet with such ease and power. He has made something old new again."William Corbett, The Boston Phoenix

 
"Nobel laureate Heaney is a virtual archaeologist, digging deeply into the earth in search of civilization's foundation and mining the human psyche for what is immutable, archetypal, and quintessential in our collective unconscious. Identifying resonantly with the Irish landscape, Heaney is a poet of labor, praising hammer and anvil, trowel and blade. Many poets possess a painterly sensibility; Heaney's is sculptural, his materials clay, stone, and brick. This bard of the hand-hewn and the hard-won, the bog and the country road, builds poems out of quatrains, that sturdy form, and constructs rock-solid sonnets. Looking to the past with tenderness and bemusement, steeped in myths ancient and modern, he recalls when tinkers appeared in his home district, muses over the changes war and technology deliver, contemplates a melting glacier, and traces the lineage between catastrophes of old and today's crises: 'Anything can happen, the tallest towers / Be overturned, those in high places daunted, / Those overlooked regarded. Stropped-beak Fortune / Swoops, making the air gasp, tearing the crest off one, / Setting it down bleeding on the next.'"Donna Seaman, Booklist
 
"Nobel prize winner Heaney's latest collection of robust lyrics celebrates work, memory, and the physicality of existence. Brimming with anvils, hammers, shovels, and pumps, these poems are scored into the page with Heaney's signature accentual and alliterative force. They demonstrate that words can be braced and wedged and lifted and swung from the shoulder, leaving almost physical traces of the objects they name: 'Contrary, unflowery/ sky-whisk and bristle, more/ twig-fret than fruit-fort,/ crabbed/ as crabbed could be-/ that was the tr

Synopsis:

 Seamus Heaney's new collection starts "In an age of bare hands and cast iron" and ends as "The automatic lock / clunks shut" in the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty-first century. In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory. Images out of a childhood spent safe from the horrors of World War II - railway sleepers, a sledgehammer, the "heavyweight / Silence" of "Cattle out in rain" - are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that "Anything can happen," and other images from the dangerous present - a journey on the Underground, a melting glacier - are fraught with this same anxiety.

But District and Circle, which includes a number of prose poems and translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language. In a sequence like "The Tollund Man in Springtime" and in several poems which "do the rounds of the district" - its known roads and rivers and trees, its familiar and unfamiliar ghosts - the gravity of memorial is transformed into the grace of recollection. With more relish and conviction than ever, Seamus Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals.

 
District and Circle is the winner of the 2007 Poetry Now award and the 2006 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.

Synopsis:

District and Circle inhabits the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty-first century. In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory. Scenes from a childhood spent far from the horrors of World War II are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that “Anything can happen,” and other images from the dangerous presenta firemans helmet, a journey on the Underground, a melting glacierare fraught with this same anxiety. But the volume, which includes some “found prose” poems and translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language. With more relish and conviction than ever, Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals.
Seamus Heaney's first collection, Death of a Naturalist, appeared forty years ago. Since then he has published poetry, criticism, and translations that have established him as one of the leading poets of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Seamus Heaney's new collection starts "In an age of bare hands and cast iron" and ends as "The automatic lock / clunks shut" in the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty-first century. In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory. Images from of a childhood spent far from the horrors of World War II are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that "Anything can happen," and other images from the dangerous presenta journey on the Underground, a melting glacierare fraught with this same anxiety.

But District and Circle, which includes some "found prose" and a number of translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language. In a sequence like "The Tollund Man in Springtime" and in several poems which "do the rounds of the district"its known roads and rivers and trees, its familiar and unfamiliar ghoststhreats to the planet are intuited in the local place, yet a lyric force prevails. With more relish and conviction than ever, Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals.

"Nobel prize winner Heaney's latest collection of robust lyrics celebrates work, memory, and the physicality of existence . . . these poems are scored into the page with Heaney's signature accentual and alliterative force. They demonstrate that words can be braced and wedged and lifted and swung from the shoulder, leaving almost physical traces of the objects they name . . . Heaney's poetry presents the 'mass and majesty of this world' with unparalleled vigor. Recommended."Fred Muratori, Library Journal
"District and Circle plays rich variations on old themes. For all its roughening rhyming, there's a remarkable consistency to Heaney's oeuvre over the decadesa personal evolution strikingly clear of self-repudiations and dead-ends. The author of District and Circle is unmistakably the flourishing direct descendant of his first collection, Death of a Naturalist (1966) . . . District and Circle brims with lovely evocations, reconstructions, restorations: a fireman's helmet, a barber shop fitted into a 'one-room one-chimney house'; an aerodrome; a man playing a saw 'inside the puddle doorway / of a downtown shop in Belfast' . . . His voice carries the authenticity and believability of the plainspokeneven though (herein his magic) his words are anything but plainspoken. His stanzas are dense echo chambers of contending nuances and ricocheting sounds. And his is the gift of saying something extraordinary while, line by line, conveying a sense that this is something an ordinary person might actually say."Brad Leithauser, The New York Times Book Review 
 
"Thomas Wolf notwithstanding, Seamus Heaney has gone home again, and the resultDistrict and Circleis his strongest book of poems in 20 years . . . This volume is as work- and earth-centered as Heaney has been in years. It is a triumph . . . Those early Heaney books remain the standard, but even they become renewed and transformed through the lens of this new masterpiece."Dave Lucas, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
 
"If literary history (and its brutal instrument, the anthology) preserves only this poem from so impressive a volume, it will be enough to remind us why Heaney remains such a celebrated poet, why many place him firmly among the best of the 20th century and why his work continues to be worth rereading long after it has, in his words, 'set the darkness echoing' behind it."Anthony Cuda, The Washington Post
 
"This is one of those remarkable books of poetry which demonstrates with particular suddenness and clarity, what poems of the finest quality are really good for. They re-energize the language, and by doing so, they serve to quicken the reader's soul."The Economist

 

"This book does not come full circle but expands outward as the past resonates 'Always new to me, always familiar.' The poems achieved are graspable physical objects, not 'infinite,' but so wide and so deep, and solid . . . No poet alive uses the sonnet with such ease and power. He has made something old new again."William Corbett, The Boston Phoenix

 
"Nobel laureate Heaney is a virtual archaeologist, digging deeply into the earth in search of civilization's foundation and mining the human psyche for what is immutable, archetypal, and quintessential in our collective unconscious. Identifying resonantly with the Irish landscape, Heaney is a poet of labor, praising hammer and anvil, trowel and blade. Many poets possess a painterly sensibility; Heaney's is sculptural, his materials clay, stone, and brick. This bard of the hand-hewn and the hard-won, the bog and the country road, builds poems out of quatrains, that sturdy form, and constructs rock-solid sonnets. Looking to the past with tenderness and bemusement, steeped in myths ancient and modern, he recalls when tinkers appeared in his home district, muses over the changes war and technology deliver, contemplates a melting glacier, and traces the lineage between catastrophes of old and today's crises: 'Anything can happen, the tallest towers / Be overturned, those in high places daunted, / Those overlooked regarded. Stropped-beak Fortune / Swoops, making the air gasp, tearing the crest off one, / Setting it down bleeding on the next.'"Donna Seaman, Booklist
 
"Nobel prize winner Heaney's latest collection of robust lyrics celebrates work, memory, and the physicality of existence. Brimming with anvils, hammers, shovels, and pumps, these poems are scored into the page with Heaney's signature accentual and alliterative force. They demonstrate that words can be braced and wedged and lifted and swung from the shoulder, leaving almost physical traces of the objects they name: 'Contrary, unflowery/ sky-whisk and bristle, more/ twig-fret than fruit-fort,/ crabbed/ as crabbed could be-/ that was the tr

About the Author

Seamus Heaney's first collection, Death of a Naturalist, appeared forty years ago. Since then he has published poetry, criticism, and translations that have established him as one of the leading poets of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374530815
Author:
Heaney, Seamus
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Subject:
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Anthologies-United Kingdom Poetry
Subject:
Single Author - British & Irish
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20070431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
96
Dimensions:
8.28 x 5.9 x 0.275 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » United Kingdom » Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

District and Circle: Poems New Trade Paper
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Product details 96 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374530815 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,  Seamus Heaney's new collection starts "In an age of bare hands and cast iron" and ends as "The automatic lock / clunks shut" in the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty-first century. In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory. Images out of a childhood spent safe from the horrors of World War II - railway sleepers, a sledgehammer, the "heavyweight / Silence" of "Cattle out in rain" - are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that "Anything can happen," and other images from the dangerous present - a journey on the Underground, a melting glacier - are fraught with this same anxiety.

But District and Circle, which includes a number of prose poems and translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language. In a sequence like "The Tollund Man in Springtime" and in several poems which "do the rounds of the district" - its known roads and rivers and trees, its familiar and unfamiliar ghosts - the gravity of memorial is transformed into the grace of recollection. With more relish and conviction than ever, Seamus Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals.

 
District and Circle is the winner of the 2007 Poetry Now award and the 2006 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.

"Synopsis" by ,
District and Circle inhabits the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty-first century. In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory. Scenes from a childhood spent far from the horrors of World War II are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that “Anything can happen,” and other images from the dangerous presenta firemans helmet, a journey on the Underground, a melting glacierare fraught with this same anxiety. But the volume, which includes some “found prose” poems and translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language. With more relish and conviction than ever, Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals.
Seamus Heaney's first collection, Death of a Naturalist, appeared forty years ago. Since then he has published poetry, criticism, and translations that have established him as one of the leading poets of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Seamus Heaney's new collection starts "In an age of bare hands and cast iron" and ends as "The automatic lock / clunks shut" in the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty-first century. In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory. Images from of a childhood spent far from the horrors of World War II are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that "Anything can happen," and other images from the dangerous presenta journey on the Underground, a melting glacierare fraught with this same anxiety.

But District and Circle, which includes some "found prose" and a number of translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language. In a sequence like "The Tollund Man in Springtime" and in several poems which "do the rounds of the district"its known roads and rivers and trees, its familiar and unfamiliar ghoststhreats to the planet are intuited in the local place, yet a lyric force prevails. With more relish and conviction than ever, Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals.

"Nobel prize winner Heaney's latest collection of robust lyrics celebrates work, memory, and the physicality of existence . . . these poems are scored into the page with Heaney's signature accentual and alliterative force. They demonstrate that words can be braced and wedged and lifted and swung from the shoulder, leaving almost physical traces of the objects they name . . . Heaney's poetry presents the 'mass and majesty of this world' with unparalleled vigor. Recommended."Fred Muratori, Library Journal
"District and Circle plays rich variations on old themes. For all its roughening rhyming, there's a remarkable consistency to Heaney's oeuvre over the decadesa personal evolution strikingly clear of self-repudiations and dead-ends. The author of District and Circle is unmistakably the flourishing direct descendant of his first collection, Death of a Naturalist (1966) . . . District and Circle brims with lovely evocations, reconstructions, restorations: a fireman's helmet, a barber shop fitted into a 'one-room one-chimney house'; an aerodrome; a man playing a saw 'inside the puddle doorway / of a downtown shop in Belfast' . . . His voice carries the authenticity and believability of the plainspokeneven though (herein his magic) his words are anything but plainspoken. His stanzas are dense echo chambers of contending nuances and ricocheting sounds. And his is the gift of saying something extraordinary while, line by line, conveying a sense that this is something an ordinary person might actually say."Brad Leithauser, The New York Times Book Review 
 
"Thomas Wolf notwithstanding, Seamus Heaney has gone home again, and the resultDistrict and Circleis his strongest book of poems in 20 years . . . This volume is as work- and earth-centered as Heaney has been in years. It is a triumph . . . Those early Heaney books remain the standard, but even they become renewed and transformed through the lens of this new masterpiece."Dave Lucas, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
 
"If literary history (and its brutal instrument, the anthology) preserves only this poem from so impressive a volume, it will be enough to remind us why Heaney remains such a celebrated poet, why many place him firmly among the best of the 20th century and why his work continues to be worth rereading long after it has, in his words, 'set the darkness echoing' behind it."Anthony Cuda, The Washington Post
 
"This is one of those remarkable books of poetry which demonstrates with particular suddenness and clarity, what poems of the finest quality are really good for. They re-energize the language, and by doing so, they serve to quicken the reader's soul."The Economist

 

"This book does not come full circle but expands outward as the past resonates 'Always new to me, always familiar.' The poems achieved are graspable physical objects, not 'infinite,' but so wide and so deep, and solid . . . No poet alive uses the sonnet with such ease and power. He has made something old new again."William Corbett, The Boston Phoenix

 
"Nobel laureate Heaney is a virtual archaeologist, digging deeply into the earth in search of civilization's foundation and mining the human psyche for what is immutable, archetypal, and quintessential in our collective unconscious. Identifying resonantly with the Irish landscape, Heaney is a poet of labor, praising hammer and anvil, trowel and blade. Many poets possess a painterly sensibility; Heaney's is sculptural, his materials clay, stone, and brick. This bard of the hand-hewn and the hard-won, the bog and the country road, builds poems out of quatrains, that sturdy form, and constructs rock-solid sonnets. Looking to the past with tenderness and bemusement, steeped in myths ancient and modern, he recalls when tinkers appeared in his home district, muses over the changes war and technology deliver, contemplates a melting glacier, and traces the lineage between catastrophes of old and today's crises: 'Anything can happen, the tallest towers / Be overturned, those in high places daunted, / Those overlooked regarded. Stropped-beak Fortune / Swoops, making the air gasp, tearing the crest off one, / Setting it down bleeding on the next.'"Donna Seaman, Booklist
 
"Nobel prize winner Heaney's latest collection of robust lyrics celebrates work, memory, and the physicality of existence. Brimming with anvils, hammers, shovels, and pumps, these poems are scored into the page with Heaney's signature accentual and alliterative force. They demonstrate that words can be braced and wedged and lifted and swung from the shoulder, leaving almost physical traces of the objects they name: 'Contrary, unflowery/ sky-whisk and bristle, more/ twig-fret than fruit-fort,/ crabbed/ as crabbed could be-/ that was the tr

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