Collected Earlier Poems

David Wevill


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Shearsman Books
6 May 2022
ISBN: 9781848618152
396 pages

From the publisher

The first volume of David Wevill's Collected covers the work originally published in the UK - although the books also appeared in the US and Canada. Four full collections are represented: Birth of a Shark (1963), A Christ of the Ice-Floes (1966), Firebreak (1971) and Where the Arrow Falls (1973), although the author had already relocated from London to Austin, Texas by the time the last two were published. Added to the full collections are poems that appeared in the two anthologies, A Group Anthology (1963) and Penguin Modern Poets 4 (1963, in which the author shared space with David Holbrook and Christopher Middleton, the latter a fellow Texan exile). This volume demonstrates exactly why Wevill was held in such high regard in the 1960s and 1970s. This book may be regarded as an act of restitution, bringing significant work back before the public. Important for the development of his early work were Jungian theory and mid-century Spanish poetry, above all Garcia Lorca, Neruda and Paz. As Martin Seymour-Smith observed, "The Jungian 'search', an admittedly circular one, is Wevill's main theme, and so his poetry needs to be read in its entirety to be fully appreciated." "Among the poets of Atlantis - those who belong to both the Old World and the New, I have always thought of David Wevill as one of the finest in our time." -Nathaniel Tarn