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The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx by Tara Bergin Poetry Book Society Autumn Recommendation

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A 2017 Poetry Book Society Recommendation
Shortlisted for The Forward Prize for Best Collection 2017

Following her 2013 debut This is Yarrow (winner of the Seamus Heaney Prize and the Shine / Strong Award), Tara Bergin returns with her second collection, The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx. The poems draw on folksong, fairytale and theatrical monologue as Bergin explores the alluring and sometimes tragic consequences of translation. When she committed suicide in 1898, Eleanor Marx (daughter of Karl Marx, pioneering sociologist, and translator of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary) imitated Flaubert’s heroine, Emma. Both women, in their own ways, died passionate deaths, and Bergin’s poems are concerned with intense love, intense grief. With a sing-song rhythm and dark humour, they play off the natural theatricality of great lovers, great writers and great readers who, like the fancy-dressed children in ‘Mask’, are both ‘themselves and strangers’. ‘That’s all they wanted.’

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