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Selected Poems

By (author) Sylvia Plath
Volume editor Ted Hughes
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Faber & Faber, London, United Kingdom
Published: 30th Jun 1985
Dimensions: w 130mm h 190mm
ISBN-10: 0571136788
ISBN-13: 9780571136780
Barcode No: 9780571136780

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Kirkus US
To judge by the selected works of a man many consider her greatest contemporary poet, England is in serious literary trouble. Careful, well-crafted, with the over-diligent working of metaphor, these poems are almost totally deficient in vitality, spontaneity, and playfulness. To quote what is no doubt an unwitting self-description, his compilation of imageries rarely goes beyond itself: "By feats of torpor, by circumventing sleights/ Of stupefaction, juggleries of benumbing,/ By lucid sophistries of sight/ To a staturing 'I am.' " The subject matter is appropriately yesteryear: references to Cuchulain, Parnell, Faustus, King and Country, The War to End All Wars; words like "behemoth," invocations such as "Aged Eye!" However, some of his later nature poems, where he assumes the guise of rock, wind, or animal, transcend this academic categorizing into a kind of ecstasy ("The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing at a work/ That points at him amazed"), giving promise to the more interesting direction of his future (now current) work. (Kirkus Reviews)