David Constantine is one the finest poets writing in English. His poetry stands outside the current literary climate, and like the work of the European poets who have nourished him, it is informed by a profoundly humane vision of the world. Its mood is often one of unease, elegiac or comically edged, barbed with pain or tinged with pleasure. His poems hold a worried and restless balance between celebration and anxiety, restraint and longing.
His Collected Poems spans three decades, including work from seven previous Bloodaxe titles and two limited editions, as well as a whole collection of new poems. He has since published a later collection, Nine Fathom Deep (2009).
"The mood is both tender and desperate, with something of the uncanny in its blend of the recognisably human and apparently OtherÖ His religious regard for the world (not the same thing as religious conviction) produces a strange translation of its ordinary terms. Its colours and joys and terrors are heightened as though by fever, yet at the same time brought into clearer focus."
Sean O'Brien, Poetry Review
"Constantine's peculiar vision is an uneasy blend of the exquisite and the everydayÖ the beatific, the ordinary, the rebarbative even, are almost indistinguishableÖ Overwhelmingly the poems are intelligent and well-turned, setting out the tensions between innocence and experience with fine control."
Elizabeth Lowry, TLS