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October 03 , 2007

The Boys at Twilight

Poems 1990 - 1995


The poems in this volume were selected by Glyn Maxwell from TALE OF THE MAYOR'S SON (published in 1990, when he was twenty-eight), OUT OF THE RAIN (shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize), and REST FOR THE WICKED. Maxwell “is a formalist,” wrote Robert McIlwaine about his first book, “but . . . he is an outspoken anti-elitist social poet. His strenuous well-wrought poems . . . come from an English tradition of technical virtuosity with plain speech.” The Boys at Twilight shows, sometimes comically, men at war, boys at play, boys grown up, men overreaching and reverting. Other concerns are the dangers of authority and mob psychology, the absurdities of stardom and consumerism, the heroism of the decent, and the wisdom of doubt. His subjects range from biblical stories to the “Tale of the Chocolate Egg,” which is a long, “pitch-perfect description of a bored young man’s growing obsession with a new kind of candy” (Adam Kirsch, New Republic). Always in his work, “Maxwell knows that to see into is not necessarily to see through . . . His virtuosity has a ballast of sobriety” (Poetry Book Society).

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