Fresh Out of the Sky

Author:   George Szirtes
Publisher:   Bloodaxe Books Ltd
ISBN:  

9781780375847


Pages:   160
Publication Date:   21 October 2021
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
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Fresh Out of the Sky


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Overview

Fresh Out of the Sky is a book of songs, dreams, laments, narratives and comedies about major life-changes involving country, identity and belonging. It is about perpetually standing at the edge of change, anticipating it, reflecting on it and dreaming about it. The title sequence of the book returns to the terza rima theme of memory, following sequences in George Szirtes' earlier books, such as those about early Budapest childhood explored in Reel, and about growing to adulthood in England in An English Apocalypse. Here the theme is arrival in England as a child in 1956. These are followed by the second part of The Yellow Room, a continuing poem of impossible questions about identity as residual Jewishness, in the form of a dialogue with Szirtes' late father. After that there is a brief section of bridging poems set in the aftermath of war, upheaval and life in contemporary England that leads to Going Viral, a substantial section of ten-line poems, divided into brief chapters, presenting dreamlike reports from the Covid bunkers we have all been inhabiting and ending on occasions of consolation, delight and joy in the midst of darkness and uncertainty. The book then moves, by way of five interludes, from one dreamlike experience to another, in the form of nine dream songs set in an unstable social and political landscape. The last section steps from dream to a bestiary of transformations woven through Guillaume Apollinaire and Graham Sutherland.

Full Product Details

Author:   George Szirtes
Publisher:   Bloodaxe Books Ltd
Imprint:   Bloodaxe Books Ltd
ISBN:  

9781780375847


ISBN 10:   1780375840
Pages:   160
Publication Date:   21 October 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
This item will be ordered in for you from one of our suppliers. Upon receipt, we will promptly dispatch it out to you. For in store availability, please contact us.

Table of Contents

FRESH OUT OF THE SKY 1 Waking to the Sea 15 Fresh out of the sky 16 Boarding house 17 A cigarette 18 Waking to the sea 19 Meet the parents 2 London Calling 20 Fairy tale 21 A wasp in the ear 22 Dream house 23 Neighbour 24 Christmas scene 3 Tom Brown's Schooldays 25 Russian incident 26 Diesel or steam 27 Early Christian 28 Table manners 29 Matinee 4 An Age of Heroes 30 Tame sparrow 31 The romantic at nine 32 Romance of Munich 33 Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future 34 The cartoon version 5 The Weather Forecast 35 Peasouper 36 English rain 37 Wind of change 38 Cricket on Brighton Beach 39 The big freeze INSIDE THE YELLOW ROOM 43 The Yellow Room 52 Migrant 56 Variations on Leopold Staff 57 One nation GOING VIRAL 61 Uncle Zoltan's plague times 61 Virus Arrival 62 Cruiser 62 Crush 63 Night train 63 Fragment 64 Night patrol Telling stories 65 Obverse 65 The dream animals return 66 Legend 66 Tradition 67 Growing wild Creatures 68 Dishes and spoons 68 The pigeons 69 The parrots 69 The penguins 70 The rats Night Watch 71 River 71 Dusk talk 72 Watchmaker 72 Like clockwork 73 The gates In the streets of a small town 74 Parchment 74 Ennui 75 The streets of a small town 75 Stopping train 76 Love poem in plague time Adding up 77 Counting 77 Minutes 78 Trainspotting 78 Figures 79 Where there is sorrow In wartime 80 Speech bubble 80 Wartime 81 The enemy 81 Disasters of war 82 Ministry In emergency 83 Emergency guide 83 Dry hands 84 The future 84 Fictions 85 Science fiction Uncertain terms 86 The angel of uncertainty 86 Addressing the nation 87 Comic turn 87 Ozymandias 88 Anger After we died 89 Lush 89 Bargain 90 Mouth 90 Blossom 91 After we died The consolations 92 Gift wrapped 92 Sylph 93 Diaphanous 93 Glory 94 Unscripted FIVE INTERLUDES 97 In praise of breathing 100 Hen Harrier 102 Morning song 103 Bear 105 Dotage NINE DREAM SONGS 109 Dream of the future tense 110 Dream of leaving 111 Dream of delay 112 Dream of townscape 114 Dream of screaming 115 Dream of dystopia 116 Dream of television 117 Dream of Moldova 118 Dream of the Danube BESTIARY 121 Orpheus 122 Ass 123 Lion 124 Stag Beetle 125 Fire Lion 126 Ram skull 127 Toad 128 Chauve souris 129 Owl as anagram 130 Ant 131 Ram 132 Emerging life form 133 Chained beast 134 Tortoise

Reviews

A brilliantly virtuosic collection of deeply felt poems concerned with the personal impact of the dislocations and betrayals of history. The judges were impressed by the unusual degree of formal pressure exerted by Szirtes on his themes of memory and the impossibility of forgetting. -- Douglas Dunn * Chair of the T.S. Eliot Prize * A major contribution to post-war literature...Using a painter-like collage of images to retrieve lost times, lives, cities and betrayed hopes, Szirtes weaves his personal and historical themes into work of profound psychological complexity. -- Anne Stevenson * Poetry Review * Mapping the Delta touches upon nearly every meaningful human experience, every 'moment' in a lifespan, from falling in love to losing a parent... Mapping the Delta wears its emotionalism lightly and its beautiful images modestly. Best of all, it carries its wide experience, sweet hope, garrulous humour and wise joyfulness with life-affirming pride: an important corrective when so much else in the world seems dark and devastated. -- Bidisha * The Poetry Review *


Author Information

George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948, and came to England with his family after the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. He was educated in England, training as a painter, and has always written in English. In recent years he has worked as a translator of Hungarian literature, producing editions of such writers as Otto Orban, Zsuzsa Rakovszky and Agnes Nemes Nagy. He co-edited Bloodaxe's Hungarian anthology The Colonnade of Teeth. His Bloodaxe poetry books include: The Budapest File (2000); An English Apocalypse (2001); Reel (2004), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize; New & Collected Poems (2008) and The Burning of the Books and other poems (2009), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2009. Bad Machine (2013) was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2013. Mapping the Delta (2016) was the Poetry Book Society Choice for Winter 2016. His latest collection, Fresh Out of the Sky, was published by Bloodaxe in 2021. Bloodaxe has also published his Newcastle/Bloodaxe Poetry Lectures, Fortinbras at the Fishhouses: Responsibility, the Iron Curtain and the sense of history as knowledge (2010), and John Sears' critical study, Reading George Szirtes (2008). His memoir of his mother, The Photographer at Sixteen, was published by MacLehose Press in 2019. Szirtes lives in Norfolk and is a freelance writer, having retired from teaching at the University of East Anglia.

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