Meanwhile Trees by Mark Waldron

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...it gives us a rare sense of the Elizabethan richness of an English that’s available right now. Underneath the defamiliarising ingenuity, the political pretension-pricking and all the narrative verve and swerve, the diction is the real star of this invigorating book.
-Guardian

Synopsis

These poems may sometimes pretend they're joking but they never really are. And what is it they're not joking about? Death for one thing, and the fact that we don't actually know who we are, and the fact that we don't truly know who our loved ones are, or what art is, or anything else for that matter.


Sometimes it feels as though someone has run off with meaning. It's no longer to be found where we could once expect to find it, perhaps in religion or in nature or in art, and these poems set off in search of it. Their aim is to see if there's a way of looking and a way of using language that can bring some meaning back to the world, because without it, we're lost.


Meanwhile, Trees is Mark Waldron's third collection, following The Brand New Dark (2008) and The Itchy Sea (2011), both published by Salt.


'Mark Waldron is the most striking and unusual new voice to have emerged in British poetry for some time. His offbeat observations and surreal imaginings are set off by a precise management of tone and mordant sense of humour. There is much black comedy in these poems but at the same time it becomes evident that a deeply humane sensibility is at work. His great gift is to face two ways at once: to our received culture, traditional and popular, and towards odd new ways of imagining ourselves. He brings to bear a sharp ear for the absurd coupled with a sure footed clarity and grace of speech. This enables him to write unforeseeable wordplays and images. In this way, his work captures exactly the uncertain mix of what it is to be a person living today – I really cannot recommend it highly enough.' – John Stammers


'Every so often you forget just how good Mark Waldron is. Then you read a random poem and end up hissing “damn” like a thwarted villain.' – Kirsten Irving


'One poet… who, above all others, cries out to reach an American audience… Waldron has been busy forging a new language of deadpan, twenty-first century surreal, as receptive to John Berryman's influence as anything written in the wake of The Dream Songs, as sceptical of the lyric self as anything in John Ashbery, and usually a lot funnier.' – Dai George, The Boston Review.


'The post-Beckettian self-inquisition offered up by Mark Waldron (a poet, incidentally, writing consistently better than virtually any other at the moment).' – Ahren Warner, Best British Poetry 2013

 

About Mark Waldron

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Published May 26, 2016 by Bloodaxe Books. 64 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Meanwhile Trees
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Sean O'Brien on Nov 11 2016

His work reveals an authority it might at first seem far from seeking. The outcome is poetry that might count for something.

Read Full Review of Meanwhile Trees | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Carol Rumens on Jun 26 2016

...it gives us a rare sense of the Elizabethan richness of an English that’s available right now. Underneath the defamiliarising ingenuity, the political pretension-pricking and all the narrative verve and swerve, the diction is the real star of this invigorating book.

Read Full Review of Meanwhile Trees | See more reviews from Guardian