The Long and the Short of It: Poems 1955-2005

Roy Fisher, Author Bloodaxe Books $32.95 (398p) ISBN 978-1-85224-701-0
Fisher's book-length works City and A Furnace, reprinted in their entirety here, garnered him a major reputation in Britian. They find their entire worlds in his native Birmingham's buildings and plans, along ""working-/ class streets where work and wages/ hid,"" with ""a dry epic flavour, whose air is human breath."" From the late 1950s onward, Fisher's meditative verse and prose has offered observant takes on midlands landscapes and cityscapes, but he also excels in prose-poem forms, making of them sometimes a carnivalesque notebook, sometimes (as in ""The Ship's Orchestra"") something like a short story; wry and saddened later verse satirizes publishers and explores the diminished vistas of old age. Though easy for ordinary readers to appreciate, Fisher is so connected to his unglamorous region that he has proven hard to promote in America: this monumental collection may be the book that makes the international difference.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
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