Search: The Penguin English Library
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Famous for his electrifying poetry readings, Paul Durcan marks four decades of composing silently and reciting aloud with this magnificent collection, which brings together for the first time the critically acclaimed poet's own choice of his work from his first book, Endsville (1967), to The Laughter of Mothers (2007). Life is a Dream represents the whole range of Durcan's writing - funny and subversive verse narratives and self-mocking poems of underachievement; poems celebrating love and sex or the lives of famous writers and artists; as well as tender, poignant verses commemorating the dead.
Throughout his long career, Durcan has continued to make passionate and moving poetry out of his own and his country's misfortunes. He is by turns a surrealist, a mystic, an Irish comedian with perfect comic timing and an angry champion of the oppressed. Life is a Dream reaffirms the constant vision and artistic integrity of one of the most powerful, humane and original voices in modern poetry.
Published: 30 Oct 2003
Throughout history, poets have felt the ancient pull of the sea, exploring the full range of mankind's nautical fears, dreams, and longings. The colorful legends of the sea-pirates and mermaids, phantom ships and the sunken city of Atlantis-have inspired as many imaginations as have the realities of lighthouses and shipwrecks, of icebergs and frothing foam and seaweed.
This marvelous collection includes classics old and new, from Homer and Milton to Plath and Merwin. Here are Tennyson's seductive sea-fairies next to Poe's beloved Annabel Lee. Here is Coleridge's darkly brooding "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" alongside the grandeur of Shakespeare's "Full Fathom Five." And here is Masefield's "I must go down to the seas again" alongside Cavafy's "Ithaka" and Stevens's "The Idea of Order at Key West." In the wide variety of lyrics collected here-sonnets and sea chanteys, ballads and hymns and prayers-we feel the encompassing power of our planet's restless
Published: 28 Sep 2001
Published: 21 Oct 1993
In 2002, as an alternative means of therapy to excessive drinking and jay-walking in South London traffic, I started writing. At first I kept a journal, noting daily observations and recording a satirical account of my wry and positively cynical views of society and my place within it. A year and two very short stories later, I had discovered my passion for words and particularly poetry. Poems, after all, in my humble opinion, are even shorter short stories… and I'm quite lazy.
My priority has always been to make my writing simple and accessible whilst I lightheartedly describe my experiences of living with Crohn's disease and the endless battles I have with myself as I drift in and out of minimum wage jobs and hospital.
As much on page as on stage, my appeal tends to be to a broader audience, including those who may not consider themselves poetically inclined. Flailing around in the pits of illiteracy, I make up my own words and often misspell or poorly punctuate those that are already in existence. But, with the clichéd excuse of 'poetic license', I continue to scrawl.
An acclaimed translation of Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy Volume 1: Inferno that retains all the style, power and meaning of the original, this Penguin Classics edition is translated from the Italian with an introduction by Mark Musa.
This vigorous translation of Inferno preserves Dante's simple, natural style, and captures the swift movement of the original Italian verse. Mark Musa's blank verse rendition of the poet's journey through the circles of hell recreates for the modern reader the rich meanings that Dante's poem had for his contemporaries. Musa's introduction and commentaries on each of the cantos brilliantly illuminate the text.
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), scion of a Florentine family, mastered in the art of lyric poetry at an early age. His first major work is La Vita Nuova (1292) an exercise in sonnet form constructed as a tribute to Beatrice Portinari, the great love of his life. It is believed that The Divine Comedy - comprised of three canticles, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso - was written between 1308 and 1320.
If you enjoyed the Inferno you might like Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron, also available in Penguin Classics.
'Musa operates on the principle that a translator's first duty is to render the original text as exactly as possible without compromising the literary quality of the work ... [This is] the best English-language version of the Inferno currently available'