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About the book
  • Published: 6 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9781473572911
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 80

The Candlelight Master




The new book from the greatest living Irish poet.

‘I can’t bear the thought of a world without Michael Longley, yet his poetry keeps hurtling towards that fact more and more urgently as it stretches in an unflinching way beyond comfort or certainty.’ So wrote Maria Johnston, reviewing Longley’s previous book Angel Hill. Yet The Candlelight Master does not only face into shadows. The title poem sums up the chiaroscuro of this collection, named after a mysterious Baroque painter. Other poems about painters – Matisse, Bonnard – imply that age makes the quest for artistic perfection all the more vital. A poem addressed to the eighth-century Japanese poet, Otomo Yakamochi, says: ‘We gaze on our soul-landscapes / More intensely with every year.’ The soul-landscape of The Candlelight Master is often a landscape of memory. But if Longley looks back over formative experiences, and over the forms he has given them, he channels memory into freshly fluid structures. His new poems about war and the Holocaust speak to our own dark times. Translation brings dead poets up to date too. The bawdy of Catullus becomes Scots ‘Hochmagandy’. Yakamochi and the lyric poets of Ancient Greece find themselves at home in Longley’s Carrigskeewaun.

  • Pub date: 6 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9781473572911
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 80

About the Author

Michael Longley

Michael Longley was born in Belfast in 1939 and educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Trinity College Dublin where he read Classics. He has published ten collections of poetry including Gorse Fires (1991) which won the Whitbread Poetry Award, and The Weather in Japan (2000) which won the Hawthornden Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Irish Times Poetry Prize. His Collected Poems was published in 2006. In 2001 he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, and in 2003 the Wilfred Owen Award. He was awarded a CBE in 2010. He was Ireland Professor of Poetry, 2007–2010. He and his wife, the critic Edna Longley, live and work in Belfast.

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