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Charmed Lives

Published by Smith/Doorstop (The Poetry Business)

ISBN: 9781906613525

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Whether drawing on direct or imaginary experience, works of art, literature or myth, these poems are about being vulnerable, getting by and sometimes being at one with the world.

“The poems bring in a wide field of reference, which deepens, adds layers of understanding and meaning.” – Gillian Clarke

He will count his footsteps perhaps
as he plods through the white world,
lashes clagged with snow, imagination
spinning his compass. He will remember
himself as he once was, silent, alone
in the wide world of possibility.

He treads snow, half leans on the wind,
eyes watching grass bend, grit skid
on iced puddles. Through the white whirl
looms the land’s knuckle, bare bone
in its plastering of snow, stone rampart,
castle, house shape, a whistling,
a sense of something arrived at.
(from ‘Through a Blizzard, A Man Walks’)

Mike Barlow has won first prizes in the Ledbury (2005) and National Poetry Competitions (2006). Living on the Difference (Smith/Doorstop, 2004) won the Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition and was shortlisted for the Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize for Best First Collection. His 2008 pamphlet Amicable Numbers, published by Templar, was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice.

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