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Michael Donaghy

27 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0330391100 / ISBN 13: 9780330391108
Published by Picador, 2000
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Conjure

Publisher: Picador

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

Edition: First.

About this title


This is Michael Donaghy's first collection of poetry in seven years.


This collection of poems by Michael Donaghy begins impressively. The first poem, "The Excuse", is a comic-but-elegiac, sly-yet-touching riff on the pain of losing and remembering a father: "'My father's sudden death has shocked us all', Even me, and I've just made it up". The second, equally sensitive poem "Not Knowing the Words", also deals with a dead father, but this time gently and eloquently argues with itself as to how the father's void can be filled. Then there's the fourth poem, "Black Ice and Rain". This is a true tour de force: a shocking, troubling, mercurial, coolly erotic and beautiful poem on love, loss, guilt and secrecy:

and where I've hoped to hear my name gasped out, from cradle, love bed, death bed, there instead I catch her voice, her broken lisp, his name
.It would be very difficult for any poet to sustain this very high quality of writing, and Donaghy doesn't. Later on in Conjure there is more than one insubstantial lyric, the odd bit of hack writing, some shorter verses that could have been excluded. But just when you are getting wearied Donaghy throws up another absolute gem, another breathtaking poem which sparkles with his tell-tale wit, demotic bathos, verbal dexterity, emotional candour, pure lyrical style and formal diversity. --Sean Thomas

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