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One, two - Angela Leighton

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One, two
Angela Leighton
Paperback / softback
Carcanet Poetry
UK Publication Date

In 'Pickpocket, Naples', a sonnet sequence reflecting on her Neapolitan background, Angela Leighton imagines a poem 'surprised in the act of finding itself'. Constantly alert to such surprises, One, Two moves from memory-scapes of childhood to elegies for her mother, quirky tributes to the creatures of the natural world to anguished poems about breath and breathlessness in times of coronavirus. Some of these poems are in formal stanzas; others catch the spaced freedom of dream or day-dream. Above all, this is a poetry which insists on the rhythmic footstep that walks in words, on the 'one, two' of a beat in language, whether the steps of a dance or the daily countdowns of sickness and death. The volume ends with some translations of the poetry of Dante and Pirandello which, either strictly or more freely, test the limits of translation.

This is Leighton's fifth volume of poetry, and shows once again her characteristic sense of wit, music and formal invention.

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Angela Leighton was born in Wakefiled to a Yorkshire father and a Neapolitan mother.As a result, doubleness has always been a part of her life, whether thinking in English or Italian, as a literary critic or a poet.She has published many works of criticism, most recently 'Hearing Things: The Work of Sound in Literature' (2018), as well as four volumes of poetry: 'A Cold Spell' (2000), 'Sea Level' (2006), The Messages (2012), and 'Spills' (2016), which includes memoir, fiction and translations from the Italian. She returns often to Yorkshire and to Italy, usually to walk about, watch and listen.Those activities often become the seeds of her poems, in particular the absent-minded activity of walking.

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