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Black Cat Bone

A collection of poems by

John Burnside's remarkable book is full of strange, unnerving poems that hang in the memory like a myth or a song. These are poems of thwarted love and disappointment, of raw desire, of the stalking beast, 'eye-teeth/and muzzle/coated with blood'; poems that recognise 'we have too much to gain from the gods, and this is why/they fail to love us'; poems that tell of an obsessive lover coming to grief in a sequence that echoes the old murder ballads, or of a hunter losing himself in the woods while pursuing an unknown and possibly unknowable quarry.

Drawing on sources as various as the paintings of Pieter Brueghel and the lyrics of Delta blues, Black Cat Bone examines varieties of love, faith, hope and illusion, to suggest an unusual possibility: that when the search for what we expected to find - in the forest or in our own hearts - ends in failure, we can now begin the hard and disciplined quest for what is actually there.

Full of risk and wonder, Black Cat Bone shows the range of Burnside's abilities, but also strikes out for new territories. He remains consistently, though, one of our finest living lyric poets and each of these astonishing poems is as clear and memorable as 'a silver bracelet//falling for days/through an inch and a half/of ice'.

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Used availability for John Burnside's Black Cat Bone

See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US

Paperback Editions

July 2015 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: Black Cat Bone: Poems
Author(s): John Burnside
ISBN: 1-55597-714-6 / 978-1-55597-714-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

2012 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: BLACK CAT BONE
Author(s): John Burnside
ISBN: 1-4458-4682-9 / 978-1-4458-4682-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: AudioGO Limited
Availability: Amazon UK   

August 2011 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: Black Cat Bone
Author(s): John Burnside
ISBN: 0-224-09385-1 / 978-0-224-09385-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

July 2015 : USA Kindle edition
thumbTitle: Black Cat Bone: Poems
Author(s): John Burnside
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Availability: Amazon   

February 2012 : Canada, UK Kindle edition
thumbTitle: Black Cat Bone
Author(s): John Burnside
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

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