Jo Shapcott

How many poets does it take to change a light bulb?
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brianedwards
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Jo Shapcott

Post by brianedwards » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:59 am

Anyone read her Costa Book Prize winning Of Mutability? Some real gems in there I think. Her best work so far, for me.
Here's one:

Hairless

B.

Suzanne
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Post by Suzanne » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:27 am

Thanks!

Wonderful poem. What I've read of hers I've usually liked. I'll tuck the book into my basket.

Thanks again,
Suzanne

JohnLott
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Re: Jo Shapcott

Post by JohnLott » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:07 pm

Yes, I have it.
Altogether sad but when we are faced with a finality isn't that where we go?

J.
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OwenEdwards
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Re: Jo Shapcott

Post by OwenEdwards » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:17 pm

Well, I don't know that the collection as a whole is sad; it ends with the tender "Stargazer", the joyous "Procedure" and the gently parodic "Piss Flower" - the first two of which I think are the best in the collection. "Hairless" (and the related "Riddle") is also really good - good pick Brian.

Mic
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Re: Jo Shapcott

Post by Mic » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:05 pm

Thanks - you've reminded me to get it.

Mic
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brianedwards
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Re: Jo Shapcott

Post by brianedwards » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:52 pm

OwenEdwards wrote:Well, I don't know that the collection as a whole is sad;
I'd agree with that. Her illness is obviously a huge element, but on the whole it's quite a positive, uplifting collection of verse. Some critics have fumbled over an original way to say "triumph of the spirit" but shouldn't we be reading the poems and not the poet?
I think "The Deaths" is one of the real highlights, but even in that poem the tone couldn't be described as sad.

B.

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Re: Jo Shapcott

Post by JohnLott » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:38 am

The Deaths, for example is sad because she is putting a brave face on it; on being full of confronting the bad in the hope that it will be less eventful.

Maybe?

Overall the volume is 'sad' because she is having to sideline frailty and finality.

I use the word 'sad' because it is a short word that subtends many emotions and pictures, none of which are evocative of the Mardi Gras.

J.
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brianedwards
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Re: Jo Shapcott

Post by brianedwards » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:17 am

Nah. "She's leaving home" is arguably a sad song but I don't think anyone would describe Sgt Pepper's as a sad record. Same deal here.
JohnLott wrote: she is putting a brave face on it
Oh please.

B.

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Re: Jo Shapcott

Post by calico » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:52 am

My favourite is one about elastic blue pools that replicate themselves on mountain tops around the world, I think she says they xerox themselves. I think of it often. A man on the tube was reading On Mutability! This is a very rare sighting. He was sitting next to me, with the book open and I recognised what it was from one of the poems, which is also very rare. He was wearing a black suit and tie, white shirt, had very badly bitten down nails and got off at Kings Cross.

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Re: Jo Shapcott

Post by brianedwards » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:03 am

calico wrote:He was wearing a black suit and tie, white shirt, had very badly bitten down nails and got off at Kings Cross.
I think I know him!

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Re: Jo Shapcott

Post by calico » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:12 am

Really?

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Re: Jo Shapcott

Post by brianedwards » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:39 pm

Err, no. Sorry.

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