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Assurances

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  6 reviews
**SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 FORWARD PRIZE FOR BEST COLLECTION**

A war-poem both historic and frighteningly topical, Assurances begins in the 1950s during a period of vigilance and dread in the middle of the Cold War: the long stand-off between nuclear powers, where the only defence was the threat of mutually assured destruction.

Using a mix of versed and unversed passages, Mo
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Paperback, 64 pages
Published June 7th 2018 by Jonathan Cape
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3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  23 ratings  ·  6 reviews


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Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, library, poetry
I thought this was extraordinary, and totally unexpected. I picked it up from the library because of its Costa win and the resulting buzz around it, and it didn’t disappoint. Assurances is a single long poem, switching between multiple styles and metre, that imagines the Cold War tactic of mutually assured destruction from the perspectives of past and present. It takes us into the planes and bunkers of bomber command; into the lives of people who are aware of the danger or totally ignorant of it ...more
Paul
rated it liked it
Mar 23, 2019
Paul
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I'm a big fan of J.O. Morgan's work, particularly his absorbing and atmospheric book-length poems, generally set in a more rural scene than this book is. Would he be able to create this immersive ambiance with a poem on the unlikely subject of 1950s nuclear deterrence? A resounding "yes".

Right from the opening staccato lines, what is hinted at and left unsaid is as frightening as what is stated.

"Assurances" itself is an interesting word, intending to give confidence but tinged with some duplici
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Samuel
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-2018
Reading Forward 2018 Shortlist. Compelling book-length exploration of the everyday atomic.
Claire O'Sullivan
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
3.5 stars. I find poetry difficult to rate as I read so little of it . Winner of the Costa poetry category which is why I read this.
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Emma
Jan 19, 2019 added it
Shelves: 2019, book-in-a-day
I’m trying to read the Costa Book Award category winners before the overall winner is announced. This was an interesting take on poetry but hard going in places and I’m not sure I understood all of it. I wish I did.
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