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Out of Danger

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Out of Danger (1994) was Fenton's first collection of poems in ten years, and the poems in it renew and amplify the qualities of unflinching observation and freewheeling verbal play that made his earlier Children in Exile so distinctive and distinguished. The poems in this book's title sequence address the dangers of love, and the love of danger; Fenton proposes that in lo
Paperback, 112 pages
Published April 30th 1995 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published January 1st 1994)
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4.07  · 
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 ·  67 ratings  ·  5 reviews

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Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, philippines
James Fenton is my kind of poet – gruff, unromantic, a man of the world whose poems sometimes seem to have more in common with front-line reporting than with contemporary poetry; and yet possessed of the most extraordinary lyrical ability that can be turned on whenever necessary. In many ways he is a journalist's poet, and indeed when you bring up poetry in newsrooms, or foreign hotel bars, his name is often the one that is voiced with most approbation by drunk hacks who otherwise would be tempt ...more
Jan 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I've read no better master of rhyme and verse than the supreme jokster Fenton.
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite is "The Journey".
Aug 17, 2007 rated it did not like it
Supposedly one of Britain's finest poets, but strictly chump change based on this unimpressive collection, embarassingly greeting-cardish except for a few effective personal lyrics.
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James Fenton was born in Lincoln in 1949 and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford where he won the Newdigate Prize for poetry. He has worked as political journalist, drama critic, book reviewer, war correspondent, foreign correspondent and columnist. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was Oxford Professor of Poetry for the period 1994-99. In 2007, Fenton was awarded the Queen's ...more
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“The Mistake

With the mistake your life goes in reverse.
Now you can see exactly what you did
Wrong yesterday and wrong the day before
And each mistake leads back to something worse

And every nuance of your hypocrisy
Towards yourself, and every excuse
Stands solidly on the perspective lines
And there is perfect visibility.

What an enlightenment. The colonnade
Rolls past on either side. You needn't move.
The statues of your errors brush your sleeve.
You watch the tale turn back — and you're dismayed.

And this dismay at this, this big mistake
Is made worse by the sight of all those who
Knew all along where these mistakes would lead —
Those frozen friends who watched the crisis break.

Why didn't they say? Oh, but they did indeed —
Said with a murmur when the time was wrong
Or by a mild refusal to assent
Or told you plainly but you would not heed.

Yes, you can hear them now. It hurts. It's worse
Than any sneer from any enemy.
Take this dismay. Lay claim to this mistake.
Look straight along the lines of this reverse.”
More quotes…