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Alive Alive O

Authors: Greta Stoddart

Published by Bloodaxe Books

ISBN: 9781780371511

£9.95
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People we love die. And at the heart of the grief there’s a sense of wonder: we can’t believe it, where have they gone, what are they now, what does that make us? We end up wondering at life too. Death takes us to the edge of living; grief leads us to question the very limits and designs of life itself.

 

Greta Stoddart’s third collection Alive Alive O follows the human impulse to make sense of our mortality. Death is reconfigured not so much to console us but as a way of playing out different scenarios, trying for variants in metaphor and meaning, that we may better accept it. But for all their focus and attention on death these are not poems of despair. In their intensity and spirit our mortal life becomes a thing to behold, even in – or because of – the face of death.

'Honest, observant poems from a collection which is both wonderfully unsettling and deeply life-affirming’  – Costa Book award judges 2008.

'These unnerving poems do not contemplate strangeness as much as embody it' – Stephen Knight, Times Literary Supplement.

'As a poet, Stoddart is not in the business of offering solutions; the closest she comes to doing so is obliquely, through the bright snap of the language in which she presents her dilemmas, the irresistible clarity of images so right they deliver an almost physical connection, joining poem and reader’ – Sarah Crown, Guardian.

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