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Of Mutability

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  194 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Jo Shapcott's award-winning first three collections, gathered in Her Book: Poems 1988 1998, revealed her to be a writer of ingenuous, politically acute and provocative poetry, and rightly earned her a reputation as one of the most original and daring voices of her generation. In Of Mutability, Shapcott is found writing at her most memorable and bold. In a series of poems t ...more
Paperback, 54 pages
Published June 2nd 2011 by Faber & Faber (first published July 1st 2010)
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It was a book of transformations, of changes, and of growth. I liked one about the owl. I didn't like the one with the wee. 2.5/5
Daniel Stephens
I must confess, I had never heard of Jo Shapcott before I bought this book (second hand for 53p, for a perfect condition hardcover no less, what a bargain!) but I'm very glad I gave her a try.

There are some truly wonderful poems in this collection - the standout being the first and one for which the collection is named, "On Mutability". I found this exceptionally moving, and was moved to tears.

There are some in the collection I found dell a little flat, but overall this is something I can see
I found her just by accident through the "52 ways of looking at a poem" book and I wanted to read more of her poetry.

This small book with very special poems, each one a gem, is very dear to me whenever I seek for a strong female voice and like to be in London (even if only in my thoughts).

"Religion for girls" is one of my favs.

I also was pleased to find her in that great film "National Gallery" where she is reading one of her poems, another strong and inspiring piece of her work.

How does a poet decide the subject of their poetry? In this collection, the majority of Jo Shapcott's poems have a light, personal quality. To an extent, all of the poems in this collection could be characterized as light or personal by varying degrees, but this collection appears to be structured in such a way that I can categorize the poems as light, person; homage; poems about trees... There's a fourth category, but I don't know how to characterize them. For the time being, let the fourth cat ...more
This collection holds both remarkable poems and not-quites, but that is my personal take. I'm not going to write a lit-crit review here, as I'm no longer a student and read this collection for pleasure and curiosity.

When Shapcott nails it, she really does. But there are a few that just don't quite do it for me here and that is a subjective view. I am being quite strict on this because Shapcott is a well-established name in British poetry and has a relatively high profile compared to many. There
Another day, another book of poetry about the body and it's failings into illness. It must be a theme in my life at the moment.

These were very delicate poems, ones to touch lightly and glance back at to be sure that's what I read.
Justine Knight
A fresh new voice, reviewed by carol ann Duffy so I thought I would read a bit of work and was very impressed. Original and raw. Beautiful
The title poem is kick-ass and worth the price of the whole collection.
Daniel Simmons
A few gems here, but most were (for me) only mildly diverting.
Shriram Sivaramakrishnan
Jo Shapcott's poetry made me 'feel alive' as a poet. It redeemed my inner self. Simply put, it is one of the best books (in poetry) that I've read in a long long time.

Her poems are a delight to read and are very vivid.

A MUST READ for any budding poet.
Mark Sexton
I'm never overly convinced when poems have scientific language shoehorned into them, but it's done quite naturally here for the most part. Well written collection and distinctive. I particularly enjoyed 'alternative' , 'myself photographed' and 'for summer'.
S Fred Langridge
I don't remember what
made me buy a book of poetry
by someone I'd never heard of.
I liked it, though.
Conversational in style;
pieces of London,
Sophie Nicholls
One of my favourite collections for a long time and perhaps Shapcott's best work yet.
Witty, sensuous, intelligent.
In places, breath-taking.
Barbara Duvoisin
PR bk club mar2011
Enjoy reading poetry out loud. So far, so interesting
Some poems are rather cryptic but others are startlingly pure
Alexis Lloyd
Sorry Jo, far too intellectual for me - I hardly understood a word!
Kent Winward
These poems suffered from the lack of notability.
The unstable body in the uncertain world.
Steve Garner
Steve Garner marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2015
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Aug 21, 2015
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  • The Overhaul: Poems
  • A Scattering
  • Rain
  • Kid
  • Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis
  • The Spirit Level
  • The Bees
  • Autumn Journal
  • Dart
  • Black Cat Bone: Poems
  • The Hungry Ghost Festival
  • Chronic
  • Collected Poems
  • Day
  • Selected Poems
  • White Egrets
She was an undergraduate at Trinity College, Dublin. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway College, University of London, where she teaches on the MA in Creative Writing. She is the current President of The Poetry Society.

Her Book: Poems 1988-1998 (2000), consists of a selection of poetry from her three earlier collections: Electroplating the Baby (1988), which won the Commonwealt
More about Jo Shapcott...
Emergency Kit Her Book: Poems 1988-1998 Tender Taxes: Translations from Rainer Maria Rilke My Life Asleep Phrase Book

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