Dannie Abse's distinctiveness as a poet lies in his clarity. His distinction lies in his imaginative and feeling responses to a variety of different worlds - work as a doctor, the experience of life in Wales and North London, the mysterious nature of creativity, the Jewish and bardic traditions. This collection draws on all these strands and is divided between personal experience and more general reflections, often prompted by an urgent awareness of the passing of time, counterpointed with transcendent moments of joy in ordinary things.
The definitive anthology spanning from 1948-2014, complete with new poems, from multi-award winning Dannie Abse, one of Britain's most well-respected poets.
This is the collection of a lifetime's work from one of Britiain's best-loved poets. Dannie Abse has published an array of work including fiction, autobiography and plays but he is best known, and critically acclaimed, as a poet.
Dannie Abse collects together here the definitive jewels of his cannon. This volume comprises both a distinguished collection of his past work and a generous selection of new poems.
2013 marks Dannie Abse's 90th birthday. In his lifetime he has published an astonishing array of work including poetry, fiction, criticism, plays and autobiography but it is as a poet that he is best known and loved.
In Speak, Old Parrot he returns to themes of loss, love, medicine and its moral implications, the nature of creativity, Jewish folk tradition and the passing of time. The poems are observant of the outside world as well as the inner life and emotions but most of all they are a joy to read.
WINNER OF THE WALES BOOK OF THE YEAR AND SHORTLISTED FOR THE PEN/ACKERLY PRIZE.
Several months after the death of poet Dannie Abse's wife, Joan, in a car accident, he began to write a diary which is both a record of present grief and a portrait of a marriage that lasted more than fifty years. It is an extraordinary document, painful but celebratory, funny yet often tragic, bursting with joy as well as sorrow and full of a deep understanding of what it means to be human.
Dannie and Joan Abse had been married for more than fifty years when she was killed in a car crash in 2005. After her death he wrote his extraordinary memoir of loss, The Presence, which was the Wales Book of the Year in 2008.
In contrast, much of this new collection is a delightful celebration. In it Dannie Abse returns to their marriage through all its seasons, and celebrates love in verse which is funny, tender and playful as well as serious and passionate. Almost half the poems appear in this form for the first time.
'One for sorrow, two for joy' is the old country saw about the magpie. These poems reflect its truth, and in the process transfigure ordinary life and love into something rich and strange.
Dannie Abse was for many years a chest specialist in a London teaching hospital. A poet, reviewer and playwright, he has written and edited more than fifteen books of poetry, as well as books about medicine and also fiction. He is the author of Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve and several autobiographical volumes, including Goodbye, Twentieth Century, which was published in 2001 to critical acclaim. He died, at the age of 91, in September 2014.