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Green, Red, Gold

Green, Red, Gold

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• A highly original take on the eternal triangle

• A rich tapestry of sensuous imagery and complex symbolism

• An exploration and celebration of love in all its variety

Green, Red, Gold is a novel in 101 sonnets that oscillates between page-turning realism and haunting poetic
symbolism. Charting the genesis, acceleration,
fragmentation and resolution of a love-affair with a power
and spontaneity rare in the sonnet form, its constantly
varying emotions and rhythms range from St Cuthbert
and the Lindisfarne Gospels to the love of Abelard and
Heloise; from Northumberland to London and back;
from pantomime to prime numbers; from the trauma
of adulterous passion to marriage and parenthood’s
accumulated love and experience. Woven into this story
are precise symbolic threads: sea and land; forest and
home; disguise and nakedness; Ariel and Cordelia; spirit
(green) tangling with world (red) to achieve a balance of
the two (gold). Connecting also with the wider dangers
of basing moral and political decisions on spiritual
promptings, the sequence arrives – with a momentum
both intimate and symphonic – at the realisation that
‘morality’s a human matter’, inseparable from reason and compassion.

William Radice was born in London in 1951, studied
English at Oxford, but then became a specialist in
Bengali. Known particularly for his translations of the
poems and stories of Rabindranath Tagore, he emerged
as a poet in his own right in the 1970s and 1980s with
his books Eight Sections, Strivings and Louring Skies.
In 1991 he made Northumberland his main home, and
Gifts: Poems 1992–1999 was published in Newcastle
upon Tyne. He has contributed regularly to BBC Radio
2’s Pause for Thought, and has worked in opera, writing the libretto for Snatched by the Gods by Param Vir and translating Puccini’s Turandot for ENO. He teaches Bengali at SOAS in London, gives lectures worldwide, writes poetry in the North-East.