Authors: Fleur Adcock
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
, with the addition of work from her later Oxford collections
The Incident Book, Time-Zones
. It does not cover her later collection
‘Adcock has a deceptively laid-back tone, through which the sharper edge of her talent is encountered like a razor blade in a peach’ –
CAROL ANN DUFFY
‘Adcock’s reputation has been founded on her spare, conversational poems, in which the style is deceptively simple, apparently translucent…a voice which teases both reader and subject’ –
‘Most of Fleur Adcock’s best poems have something to do with bed: she writes well about sex, very well about illness, and very well indeed about dreaming…Her imagination thrives on what threatens her peace of mind, and only when she is unguarded can these threats have their full creative effect…Throughout her writing life, she has made a fine art from holding on to principles of orderliness and good clear sense; but she has made an even finer one from loosening her grip on them’ –
Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543) :
A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling
NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON