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Something for the Ghosts

by David Constantine

Not a light read, but incredibly rewarding. I was first drawn in by the poet's subtle mordant humour, then propelled along by his relentless rhythm. Deeply philosophical, wide-ranging (not rooted in one culture), with a very apt title.

Extract


For nothing burns like the limbs of gorse
So thoroughly dead
Twisted for breathing space
Drilled and cankered
Host to the hungers of other kinds of life
How they burn
All without fat and flesh and blood
Without dribble or mewling
So much flame in every stub of gorse

from Gorse

Parallels

The Garden by Louis Armand
The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ in the New World: Poems 1946-1964 by Galway Kinnell
 

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