Unsent by Penelope Shuttle
New & Selected Poems 1980-2012

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The artfulness is in the exposure itself, the bare stage, the bereavement not over but the imagination still drawn to the impersonal fact of beauty, "as the full-leaf trees / buck their great green manes / in the strong westerly //...
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Synopsis

Adventurous, searching, interested in the luminous instant of reality that dwells in the perpetual now of the poem, Penelope Shuttle is a poet who clearly shares Picasso's view that 'If you know exactly what you're going to do, what's the point of doing it?' This selection -drawn from ten collections published over three decades plus new work -shows both her consistency of voice and her energised openness to language and to life. Not for nothing was one of her books titled Adventures with My Horse. The new poems of Unsent are communications to and with her husband Peter Redgrove, remembering their shared past with love,wit, paradox, exasperation and a lightness of heart towards ageing and sorrow. With these poems Shuttle concludes her triptych of mourning for Redgrove, and ceases 'to weep on the world's shoulder'. If a poet's work is her personal experience of the universe then this book takes us deep into that Shuttle-verse. In earlier collections her concerns are with language as a safety net from life's difficulties and a guide through widening regions of love and motherhood. Her themes range widely: personal life, that part of our 'secret working mind' which we call dreams, the landscape of Cornwall, myth and fairytale. And she has a passionate awareness of the many ways -sacred and profane, comic, sensuous, and joyful -in which we sustain ourselves through poetry, combining a provocative intelligence with uninhibited emotional power. 'One of our most compellingly sensuous poets… Shuttle is a poet of immense reach, both in the range of her subject-matter and the breadth of her language. She is both an acute observer and an inventive fiction-maker. One senses that she has her life perfectly in tune with her poetry, so that it registers the slightest variation in her state of being. In this sense, the narratives of emotional, erotic and maternal love that can be traced through these poems collocate into the drama of a life lived in the full flood of being' -Gerard Woodward, TLS.
 

About Penelope Shuttle

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Penelope Shuttle was born in Middlesex in 1947. She lives in Cornwall with her husband Peter Redgrave, and their daughter Zoe. Her previous works of poetry include The Orchard Upstairs, The Child Stealer, Adventures with my Horse, The Lion From Rio, and Taxing the Rain.
 
Published October 25, 2012 by Bloodaxe Books. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Sean O'Brien on Dec 28 2012

The artfulness is in the exposure itself, the bare stage, the bereavement not over but the imagination still drawn to the impersonal fact of beauty, "as the full-leaf trees / buck their great green manes / in the strong westerly //...

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