Water Sessions by James Lasdun

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The book centres on questions of identity – many of the poems constitute a reckoning with the speaker's place in the world, as a middle-aged man, as an immigrant to the US, as a parent learning to live with the death of his own father...
-Guardian

Synopsis

James Lasdun's new book of poems, his first since his acclaimed collection Landscape with Chainsaw, applies his characteristic blend of the celebratory and the elegiac to a rich variety of new themes and old obsessions. At once personal and political, Water Sessions brilliantly registers the shock waves of global tumult in the most intimately domestic of settings, while at the same time constantly feeling its way outward through private experience into the larger arenas of social and civic drama. Fathers and sons, men and women, desire and repression, art and silence, form the book's central polarities. Recurrent motifs of water and gardens give its wide-ranging subjects a satisfying coherence while also supplying its sometimes darkly urgent poems with a note of intense lyrical beauty. Much praised for the wit and tensile strength of his line, Lasdun moves in this volume from the tight formality of 'Stones' through the highly original patient/therapist dialogue form of the title poem, to the exuberant free verse of 'Dog Days', with a versatility and intelligence that ensure his standing as one of the most gifted poets writing today.
 

About James Lasdun

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James Lasdun lives near Woodstock, New York.
 
Published January 1, 2012 by Jonathan Cape. 64 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Adam Newey on Oct 05 2012

The book centres on questions of identity – many of the poems constitute a reckoning with the speaker's place in the world, as a middle-aged man, as an immigrant to the US, as a parent learning to live with the death of his own father...

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