Books Magazine

Poems 1960-2000 by Fleur Adcock

By Pamelascott

Fleur Adcock is one of Britain's most accomplished poets. Her poised, ironic poems are tense and tightly controlled as well as shrewdly laconic, and often chilling as she unmasks the deceptions of love or unravels family lives. Disarmingly conversational in style, they are remarkable for their psychological insight and their unsentimental, mischievously casual view of personal relationships. Born in New Zealand, she has explored questions of identity and rootedness throughout her work, both in relation to her personal allegiances to her native and adopted countries as well as her family history, whose long-dead characters she brings to life. She has also written movingly of birth, death and bereavement, and has tackled political issues with honest indignation and caustic wit. This first Collected edition of her poetry replaces her "Selected Poems," with the addition of work from her later Oxford collections "The Incident Book," "Time-Zones" and "Looking Back." It does not cover her later collection "Dragon Talk" (2010).


[Among the Roman love-poets, possession / is a rare theme. The locked and flower-hung door, the shivering lover, are allowed [NOTES ON PROPERTIUS]


(Bloodaxe Books, ebook, 14 May 2014, borrowed from my library)



I'm a fan of Adcock after reading some of her poetry in various collection over the past few years.

Poems 1960-2000 Fleur Adcock

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. Her poetry is quite narrative and very vivid. I like this style of poetry so really enjoyed all of the poems in this collection.

I particularly liked Instructions to Vampires, Saturday, Please Identify Yourself, Future Work (amazing), Paths, Eclipse, Loving Hitler, What May Happen and A Haunting.

On a negative note, I think the cover is awful and would have put me off if I wasn't already familiar with the poet's work.

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