Swithering

Swithering

3.92 (88 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

To "swither" means to suffer indecision or doubt, but there is no faltering in these poems; any uncertainty is not in the lines or the sounds or the images, but only in the themes of flux and change and transformation that thread their way through this powerful third collection. Robin Robertson has written a book of remarkable cohesion and range that calls on his knowledge of folklore and myth to fuse the old ways with the new. From raw, exposed poems about the end of childhood to erotically charged lyrics about the end of desire, from a brilliant retelling of the metamorphosis and death of Actaeon to the final freeing of the waters in "Holding Proteus," these are close examinations of nature--of the bright epiphanies of passion and loss.
At times sombre, at times exultant, Robertson's poems are always firmly rooted in the world we see, the life we experience: original, precise, and startlingly clear.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 84 pages
  • 132.1 x 198.1 x 10.2mm | 113.4g
  • United States
  • English
  • Us.
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 015603199X
  • 9780156031998
  • 640,655

Back cover copy

"The genius of this Scots poet is for finding the sensually charged moment - in a raked northern seascape, in a sexual or gustatory encounter - and depicting it in language that is simultaneously spare and ample." -- The New Yorker
To swither means to suffer indecision or doubt, but there is no faltering in these poems. Robin Robertson has written a book of remarkable cohesion and range-- from raw, exposed poems about the end of childhood to erotically charged lyrics about the ends of desire, from a brilliant re-telling of the metamorphosis and death of Actaeon to the final freeing of the waters in Holding Proteus. At times somber, at times exultant, Robertson's poems are always firmly rooted in the world we see, the life we experience: original, precise, and startlingly clear.
Robin Robertson is from the north-east coast of Scotland, and now lives in London. His poetry appears regularly in the London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement, and he has published two previous books of poetry, A Painted Field and Slow Air. In 2004 he received the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Swithering has been shortlisted for the 2006 T.S. Eliot Prize.
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Review quote

"Robertson's genius for exact and gorgeous imagery, his dazzling metaphorical gift, and the knottiness of his thinking ... runs through the syntax of the verse like a bead of Metaphysical quicksilver."
--John Banville"New York Review of Books" (07/13/2006)
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Rating details

88 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 31% (27)
4 36% (32)
3 30% (26)
2 1% (1)
1 2% (2)
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