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This book draws together a major selection of poems from 1984-2004. Including works on London, sport, boats, cartoons, food, the classics, the mystical, history, crime, and the North. A taut, rhythmic verse, with respect for word-sound and a cheering disregard for consensus on history, language and ‘poetry’.
‘To have even a part of Bill Griffiths’ writing of the past decades widely available is an event to be welcomed. Mercurially self-effacing – a Pepper’s Ghost on the stage of poetry – Bill has kept the down-home of the reality based community honest and welcoming: generous music.’ —Tom Raworth
‘Griffiths’s poetry sings among the bogus, as Basil Bunting might have said, with an insouciant yet high musical intelligence almost unique among contemporary poets. The poet’s sense of local and wider history, his concern for the human soul (an old concept here made new in a materialist age), his dazzling lexical virtuosity, his range of forms and his commitment to vital scholarly investigation of a long range past combine to posit a fundamental challenge to all authoritarian claims to truth, especially the totalitarian reduction of human consciousness to the present and immediate: that degrading reality crust of postmodern confidence. The poetry runs the gamut of human perception from the comic to the mystical and from the lyrical to the tragic. Human achievement and human failure are dispassionately articulated in a world where Blakean contraries have full play. His is a unique and unrepeatable voice speaking with an unnerving accuracy in our time.’ —Clive Bush