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Terrific Melancholy

Terrific Melancholy

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Roddy Lumsden’s Terrific Melancholy is a book of changes, both physical and emotional. It begins with a diverse sequence on that most dubious and folkloric of changes: rebirth into a new life, exploring our history’s advances. Elsewhere, in the lengthy title-poem, an actor’s reluctant crush on a younger colleague leads him to look back on life from middle age, while the poet himself does the same during travels in the USA.

This is Lumsden’s sixth collection and it also contains a miscellany of new poems which display the writer’s acclaimed inventiveness with form and structure and his breadth of approach: satire, listing, praise poems and a new form, the ‘ripple poem’, which develops the use of ‘fuzzy’ rhyme.

“One of the best poets writing in English on the planet today.”
Don Share

"He is so in command of his register that he can address great sweeps of time and the drops of which they are composed."
Candida McWilliam, Scottish Review of Books

“… the rhymes, the larks, the brutal punch-lines tug Lumsden’s poems off the page and into the living context they describe.”
Matthew Smith, Verse

Roddy Lumsden’s first book Yeah Yeah Yeah (1997) was shortlisted for the Forward and Saltire prizes. His second collection, The Book of Love (2000), was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Mischief Night: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2004) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His most recent collection is Third Wish Wasted (Bloodaxe, 2009). His anthology Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets was published by Bloodaxe in 2010. Born in St Andrews, he lived in Edinburgh before moving to London.