House of Anansi Press

The Wrecking Light

Written by Robin Robertson

Published October 02, 2010 | ISBN 9780887842849
POETRY / General

Cover of The Wrecking Light

Regular price $16.95 CAD

112 pages
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

The Wrecking Light

Robin Robertson

Robin Robertson's fourth collection is, if anything, an even more intense, moving, bleakly lyrical, and at times shocking book than Swithering, winner of the Forward Poetry Prize. These poems are written with the authority of classical myth, yet sound utterly contemporary: the poet's gaze -- whether on the natural world or the details of his own life -- is unflinching and clear, its utter seriousness leavened by a wry, dry and disarming humour.

Alongside fine translations from Pablo Neruda and Eugenio Montale and dynamic (and at times horrific) retellings of stories from Ovid, the poems in The Wrecking Light pitch the power and wonder of nature against the frailty and failure of the human. Ghosts sift through these poems -- certainties become volatile, the simplest situations thicken with strangeness and threat -- all of them haunted by the pressure and presence of the primitive world against our own, and the kind of dream-like intensity of description that has become Robertson's trademark.

The Wrecking Light is a work of considerable grandeur and sweep, and confirms Robertson as one of the most arresting and powerful poets at work today.

About the Author

Robin Robertson

Robin Robertson is from the northeast coast of Scotland. He has published five collections of poetry and received a number of accolades, including the Petrarca-Preis, the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and all three Forward Prizes. He has also edited a collection of essays, Mortification: Writers’ Stories of Their Public Shame, translated two plays by Euripides, Medea and Bacchae, and, in 2006, published The Deleted World, a selection of free English versions of poems by the Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His selected poems, Sailing the Forest, was published in 2014 by Picador and Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Awards and Praise
Drawing on both Greco-Roman myth and Scottish folklore, Robertson is somehow able to invoke both antlered men and selkies and have it all make perfect -- albeit bloody -- sense.