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June 30 , 2008

Collected Poems


Frances Horovitz’s poems have the clarity of ballad and the power of myth. Her finely honed lyrics ‘strike to areas of the soul as old as humanity itself’. Many were inspired by the remote Cotswold valley where she lived for ten years; others by the border country of Cumbria and the Welsh Marches. Her Collected Poems (1985) was one of the landmark volumes of postwar British poetry. She was one of the finest ever readers of poetry, and this new edition includes audio recordings of her reading a selection of her poems, along with an interview. ‘She has perfect rhythm, great delicacy and a rather Chinese yet very locally British sense of landscape… her poetry does seem to me to approach greatness’ – Peter Levi. ‘Frances Horovitz inherits the mantle of Kathleen Raine and of Frances Bellerby. It is an honour to be able to say that her voice is not that of the “age” but of the earth’ – Anne Stevenson. ‘The Collected Poems are, after all, what we are left with when all the symposia and elegies have withered. One is reminded, gratefully, of John Updike’s appreciation of Wallace Stevens: “What a good use of life, to leave behind one beautiful book”.’ – James Wood, The Times.

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