This month, we are pleased to support World Poetry Day, which takes place every year on 21st March. This day was first adopted by UNESCO in 1999, and while many countries celebrate their own national or international poetry days, World Poetry Day has the aim of “supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard”.
In the words of T.S. Eliot, “Our talking about poetry is an extension of our experience of it; and as a good deal of thinking has gone to the making of poetry, so a good deal may go to the study of it,” and at Cambridge Scholars we are proud to play a role in the continuing reading and discussion of poetry and poetic thought.
To celebrate World Poetry day we are offering our readers a 50% discount on 4 of our best-selling titles on poetry and the study of poetry. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code POETRY18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 2nd April 2018.
The present age has seen an explosion of verse novels in many parts of the world. A novel written in verse contradicts theories that distinguish the novel as essentially a prose genre. The boundaries of prose and verse are, however, somewhat fluid. This is especially evident in the case of free verse poetry and the kinds of prose used in many Modernist novels. The contemporary outburst may seem a uniquely Postmodernist flouting of generic boundaries, but, in fact, the verse novel is not new. Its origins reach back to at least the eighteenth century. A Genealogy of the Verse Novel investigates the status of the verse novel as a genre and traces its mainly English-language history from its beginnings. The discussion will be of interest to genre theorists, prosodists, narratologists and literary historians, as well as readers of verse novels wishing for some background to this apparently new literary phenomenon.
Autobiographical Poetry in England and Spain, 1950-1980: Narrating Oneself in Verse traces the founding critical theories of the autobiographical genre, from the Enlightenment period to the most recent developments. It offers an increased effectiveness of the poem to express the narrative purposes of autobiography, recognizing poetic writing that has the extraordinary ability to say what “the mortal language does not say,” to quote Leopardi. The works of Seamus Heaney, Thom Gunn, Carlos Barral and Jaime Gil de Biedma are analyzed here, and show an unveiling of the self through memories, places and objects that often characterize them and that allow, to whomever recalls one’s own experience through writing, the recovery and restoration of essential meanings to the reconstruction not only of subjective identity, but also of one’s own community.
Englishness and Post-imperial Space: The Poetry of Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes probes into the English mindset immediately after the British withdrawal from the colonies, and examines how the loss of power and global prestige affected contemporary poetry, particularly that of Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes. Frustration and disillusionment, even anger, characterised the era and many of the literary works the period produced. Most writers became insular and were obsessed with the ‘English’ elements in their writing. The great, international and cosmopolitan themes (of Eliot, for instance) were replaced by those of narrow domestic importance. It is in such a context, this book argues, that Larkin and Hughes returned to the old England, most notably to the themes of gradually vanishing pristine landscape and national myths and legends, to the archetypal English customs and conventions.
The early works of Paul Auster convey the loneliness of the individual fully committed to the work of writing, as if he were confined within the book that dominates his life. All through Auster’s poetry, essays and fiction, the work of writing is an actual physical effort, an effective construction. The Imagery of Writing in the Early Works of Paul Auster: From Stones to Books studies the symbolism of the genetic substance of the world (re)built through the work of writing, inside the walls of the room, closed in space and time, though open to an unlimited mental expansion. Auster’s work is an aesthetic-literary self-reflection about the mission of writing. The writer-character is like an inexperienced God, whose hands may originate either cosmos or chaos, life or death, hence Auster’s recurring meditation on the work and the power of writing, at the same time an autobiography and a self-criticism.