Jeremy Over

Deceiving Wild Creatures

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The naturalist Gilbert White is at the heart of this collection. Like him, Jeremy Over explores an ecology with meticulous acuity. His poems are 'found in the field': the beauty and oddity of the language of others is brought into sharp focus. Robert Herrick's 'sweet disorder in the dress' is subjected to a series of disrobings; a guidebook, instruction manual and catalogue become occasions to celebrate the pleasures of language. Setting out from White's Natural History of Selborne, Over embarks on a sequence of poems that, in White's words, lend 'an helping hand towards the enlargement of the boundaries' of natural history. A deep seam of Englishness – Stanley Spencer, Samuel Palmer, Henry Purcell – runs parallel to an American dimension, and further off in time and space are traces of Tristan Tzara, Rumi and Wang Wei. The reasonable language with which we try to contain the unreasonableness of things here trips, spins and flies into new figurations.
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38 printed pages
Original publication
2011

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