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Snow Water
  • Published: 15 March 2004
  • ISBN: 9780224072571
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 80
  • RRP: $24.99

Snow Water



The new collection from 'one of the finest lyric poets of our century' (John Burnside)

The poems collected in Snow Water find their gravity and centre in Michael Longley's adopted home in west Mayo, but range widely in their attention - from ancient Greece to Paris and Pisa, from Central Park to the trenches of the Somme. Meditations on nature and mortality, there is a depth and delicacy to these poems, a state of lucid wonder, that allows for the easy companionship of love poem and elegy, hymns to marriage and friendship and lyric explorations of loss. Though the embodiment of these themes is often found in the wildlife of Carrigskeewaun and Allaran Point - the plovers and oystercatchers, whooper swans and snow geese, the hares and otters, the marsh marigolds and yellow flags - Snow Water is emphatically a celebration of humanity. These are all, in a way, poems of love and kinship - even the magnificent sequence that links the horrors of the Great War with those of the Trojan War, and with all the wars between. What Longley says of Edward Thomas might easily be said of him: 'The nature poet turned into a war poet as if/He could cure death with the rub of a dock leaf'. Full of intensity and grace, tenderness and wisdom, these are poems of deceptive simplicity from a craftsman of international stature.

  • Published: 15 March 2004
  • ISBN: 9780224072571
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 80
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Michael Longley

Michael Longley has received many awards, among them the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, the Irish Times Poetry Now Award, the American Ireland Fund Literary Award and the Griffin International Prize. His Collected Poems was published in 2006, and Sidelines: Selected Prose in 2017. In 2001 Longley received the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and in 2003 the Wilfred Owen Award. He was appointed a CBE in 2010, and from 2007 to 2010 was Ireland Professor of Poetry. In 2017 he received the PEN Pinter Prize, and in 2018 the inaugural Yakamochi Medal. In 2015 he was made a Freeman of the City of Belfast, where he and his wife the critic Edna Longley live and work.

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Praise for Snow Water

Michael Longley's affectionate metre, his clean-cut and lucid measure, is one of the most distinguished accomplishments in contemporary poetry.

Douglas Dunn

A keeper of the artistic estate, a custodian of grief and wonders.

Seamus Heaney

His work indicates one of the gifts of the major poet, of making the one life speak for all, and its corollary, of seeming to be able to speak to anyone.

Sean O'Brien

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