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A Hundred Doors – Michael Longley’s new book

There’s something almost miraculous about the combination of quietness and penetrative power in A Hundred Doors, Michael Longley’s new book from Jonathan Cape. I’m looking forward to reviewing it but it will be a daunting task. Each poem is assembled with such extreme reticence and delicacy and at the same time packs such an enormous punch that the attempt to paraphrase and explain will seem even more out of keeping with the original than writing about poetry usually does. Meanwhile I’d just like to recommend all lovers of Longley’s work to buy it.

Jo Shapcott, Of Mutability

Of Mutability is a book about death and change. Some of its poems hauntingly evoke unease, fear and loss. What is astonishing is how often the same poems, looked at from another angle, twinkle with humour, playfulness and resilient vitality. “Procedure”, the penultimate piece, is one of the most poignantly life-affirming poems I know. Here, the guard of humour is dropped completely, but the final poem, “Piss Flower”, blends elements that are wonderfully funny with others that aren’t funny at all in an amazing fusion of rude wit with grace. This is an immediately accessible and enjoyable book. It’s also … Continue Reading