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The Malarkey

The Malarkey

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Poetry Book Society Recommendation

The malarkey is over in the back of the car… As soon as you turn your back, time slips. The humdrum present has become the precious, irrecoverable past. The ways in which the present longs for the past, questions it, tries to get in touch with it and stretches the power of memory to its limits, are central to this new collection by Helen Dunmore.

Joseph Severn recalls Keats hurling a bad dinner out onto the steps of the Piazza di Spagna; the glamour of John Donne’s portrait ‘taken in shadows’ seduces a new generation; the dead assert their right to walk through the imaginations of the living… These are poems and stories of loss and extraordinary rediscovery.

The Malarkey is Helen Dunmore’s first poetry book since Glad of These Times (2007) and Out of the Blue: Poems 1975-2001 (2001), a comprehensive selection drawing on seven previous collections. It brings together poems of great lyricism, feeling and artistry.

"An electrifying and original talent, a writer whose style is characterised by a lyrical, dreamy intensity."
The Guardian

"One of this country’s finest literary talents."
The Daily Telegraph

"Dunmore gets a wonderful balance between delicate, exact, surprising language and very strong thought – which may be bitter, sardonic, or violent, tender, or wildly imaginative, but is always generous… A lovely poetic electricity runs through her poems."
Sean O'Brien & Ruth Padel, PBS Bulletin

"This is a poet whose words can be savoured on the tongue."
Iain Crichton Smith, Glasgow Herald