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Night

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  40 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Among the poems that open Night, David Harsent's follow-up to his Forward Prize-winning collection "Legion", is a startling sequence about a garden - but a garden unlike any other. It sets the tone for a book in which the sureties of daylight become uncertain: dark, unsettling narratives about what wakes in us when we escape our day-lit selves to visit a place where the dr ...more
Kindle Edition, 112 pages
Published (first published December 13th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 87)
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Michelle
Sep 18, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it
Even-mannered poetics with a firm grounding in lucidity and a dash of the surreal. Harsent's collection is situated firmly in the night with all its familiar iconography: graveyards, ghosts, alcoholism, neon, etc. The extensive (and nearly tiring) use of tropes is thankfully offset by an attraction to both high diction and vernacular, to imagery both nebulous and manically microscopic. What ultimately binds the collection together is a book-length stutter of sorts: a desire for the speaker to re ...more
Robert Mckenzie
Apr 20, 2012 Robert Mckenzie rated it it was amazing
I thought this was great. It totally changed my mind about poetry. First poetry I've enjoyed since reading The Song of the Crow to my kids. A range of deliciously dark poems.
Harry Rutherford
Jul 02, 2011 Harry Rutherford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Another one from the Poetry Book Society; this is more to my taste than the Sean O'Brien.
Mauberley
'How it feels when the mad machine cranks up/ and the room breeds shadows out of dusk.' ('night', stanza vii).

It took a while to work its magic, for me to catch a whiff of Harsent's art, but this is truly exciting poetry. The long poem that ends the volume ('Elsewhere') is a rollicking ride through dream time with a powerfully fueled narrative drive. When have you last come across poetry that reads like a thriller? Neither me. I wasn't surprised to learn that the poet has also written mysteries
...more
Chris Wardhaugh
Jul 14, 2012 Chris Wardhaugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


I found this book hard going. It's dense, heavy on the lyrical and the imaginary and feels profound without necessarily defining what it's being profound about.
Its tone is dark, as the title suggests. I feel certain it's brilliant, but I don't feel it's terribly accessible. Not a criticism as such, but a reflection perhaps of the amount of time I can devote to an individual poem right now. That said, Spatchcock is a stand out for me.
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David Harsent has published nine collections of poetry. The most recent, Legion, won the Forward Prize for best collection 2005 and was shortlisted for both the Whitbread Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His Selected Poems appeared from Faber in June 2007, and were shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize. His work in music theatre has involved collaborations with a number of composer ...more
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