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Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Poets
ISBN: 9781681372761
Pages: 144
Publication Date: November 13, 2018

W.S. Graham

by W.S. Graham, selected and with an introduction by Michael Hofmann

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“Does it disturb the language?” the Scottish poet W. S. Graham liked to ask about a poem. Graham’s do—strangely, comically, beautifully. His career fell into two parts. The early work is rapt and wild and incantatory, and culminates in the tour de force of 1955, The Nightfishing. Fifteen years of silence were then followed by an extraordinary late flowering: Graham’s poems became stark, quizzical, and unsettling, a continual teasing examination of thought and feeling that is also an ongoing investigation into the nature and power of poetry, work that is at once metaphysical and intimate, wry and elegiac. In these late poems, Graham emerges as one of the true originals of poetry in English.


His song is unique and his work is an inspiration....W.S. Graham drank and ate poetry every day of his life.
—Harold Pinter

[W.S. Graham] is a poet of spectacular sophistication and originality and the supreme comic poet of our time.
—Dennis O’Driscoll