Lady One

Lady One : Of Love and Other Poems

4.19 (21 ratings by Goodreads)
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"Please deliver me, Lady, of prattle and cant"
"As I bury one hundred years of war and want"
Evoking an extraordinary range of settings and images--from "Africa where blood blackens / and tiny desert creatures have to lick / the dew from their flanks to survive" to the havens of exile, and the "snow once again over Paris / this morning sheeting light / under grey blankets"--this searching verse explores love and loss, light and darkness, war and want, and wounds that do not heal. The texture of nostalgic, sometimes bitter memories of childhood in Breytenbach's African homeland is as palpable here as the vigorous exultation of love found amid the ruins of an earlier life. And pervading all the experience rendered is a sense of wonder and awe that "the light lies silvery smooth / in the furrows dug by the farmer / to lead astray the drought / and bring succour to the runner beans, / the maize, tomatoes, melons, peppers, / onions, garlic, potatoes / and love."
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Product details

  • Hardback | 96 pages
  • 157 x 208.8 x 13.5mm | 254.02g
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
  • English
  • 0151007624
  • 9780151007622

Review quote

"Breytenbach's passionate desire to know and serve the truth, whatever it may be and whoever it may offend, is deeply admirable."--"The Washington Post"
"An immensely gifted writer, able to descend effortlessly into the Africa of the poetic unconscious and return with the rhythm and the words, the words in the rhythm, that give life."--J. M. Coetzee, "The New York Review of Books"
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Rating details

21 ratings
4.19 out of 5 stars
5 33% (7)
4 52% (11)
3 14% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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