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According to the Small Hours

Mathews Aidan

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ISBN 10: 0224051253 / ISBN 13: 9780224051255
Verlag: Cape Poetry, London, 1998
Gebraucht Zustand: Very Good Softcover
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Cape Poetry 1998; A collection of poetry, good to very good in wraps. ; 106 pages. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 6495

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: According to the Small Hours

Verlag: Cape Poetry, London

Erscheinungsdatum: 1998

Einband: Paperback

Zustand:Very Good

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: No Dust Jacket

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In this, his first collection of poems in fifteen years, Aidan Mathews brings together the sacred and the profane, playful and profound, the iconic and the everyday - illuminating the variousness and commonality of human experience. These poems wear their erudition lightly: dazzling us with their fresh observations, the strangely intimate details ('mice among the breadcrumbs of the Last Supper') and a fluid, metaphysical wit that can link a saint's matyrdom to a Sunday roast.

Mercurial, passionate and always surprising, According to the Small Hours is a triumphant return to the form.


According to the Small Hours is a clever, dense, and learned collection of poems on the connections between the sacred and the profane, the sublime and the everyday. Mathews intricately weaves into his religious sense of life, half- remembered, half-forgotten stories of private, personal experience, exploring how such moments are both mediated and withheld by faith, transformed in countless ways by the mystery of God. That faith connects what is momentary and passing to what is enduring and eternal, and is expressed through a wrought, metaphorical style, sometimes chant, sometimes oratory, but always keen to see the material world verified by the workings of spirit. Mathews' poetry stakes it claims here, treating each word, each phrase, as if it were also a symbol of transformation, like the parables he holds dear. Occasionally this leads to a tortuous opacity of reference and symbol in which clarity is sometimes lost or diminished. At the same time, the pervasive doubling or quadrupling of meaning forces the reader to engage with how those figures of spirit are alchemied into a source of overlapping, intertwined deliberations on love and faith. The burdens of such invention are, however, more than matched by a formal dexterity which, when it works, "is seamless. It is something else"("Wearings"). -- David Marriott

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