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Arctic Elegies by Peter Davidson

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This is a mighty book of Norths: northern geographies, histories, lights; a place of definition, frost and cold. There is an unfaltering Recusant spirit about these poems, a survival through defeat and a sense of underlying permanences.

Each poem has an occasion: some of the occasions are personal meetings, conversations, which unlock shared scenes and themes; some are historical in origin, their past often one of early Christian faith or religious conflict. The poems abound in art, in specific lived detail, particulars of landscape, and in a harsh weather which is not unlike time itself in its effect on the living and aging imagination. Each poem requires a different metre, a different pace; each form is carefully attuned to its occasion.

Peter Davidson was born in Scotland in 1957 and educated there and at the Universities of Cambridge and York. He is Senior Research Fellow of Campion Hall, Oxford, and Fellow-Curator of the Hall’s art collection. As well as academic works he has published several works of literary nonfiction. This is his second collection for Carcanet.



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