Fleur Adcock began writing the poems in this book when she was 82. The two chief settings are New Zealand, with its multi-coloured seas, and Britain, seen in various decades. There are foreign travels, flirtations, family memories, deaths and conversations with the dead. Katherine Mansfield, incognito, dodges an academic conference; there’s a lesson in water divining as well as a rather unusual Christmas party. We meet several varieties of small mammal, numerous birds, doomed or otherwise, and some sheep. The book ends with a sequence in memory of her friend, the poet Roy Fisher.
‘Informality and immediacy are vivid ways to remake a world; and Adcock’s style has not dated in the half-century since her debut.’ – Fiona Sampson, Guardian [on Glass Wings]
‘Fleur Adcock’s poetry is lauded for its composure and ease of delivery. Yet that sense of control…belies a more complicated history.’ – Julian Stannard, Times Literary Supplement
‘Fleur Adcock is as clear-eyed as always in a collection that ranges widely over lost worlds, family histories …but always maintains the art of seemingly artless observation.’ – Adam Newey, Guardian (Best Poetry of 2013) [on Glass Wings]
‘Adcock’s reputation has been founded on her spare, conversational poems, in which the style is deceptively simple, apparently translucent…those who see in such poems only flatness are missing the power of a voice which teases both reader and subject.’ – Jo Shapcott, Times Literary Supplement
Fleur Adcock reads nine poems
Fleur Adcock reads nine poems from Poems 1960-2000 (Bloodaxe Books, 2000): ‘The Video’, ‘For a Five-Year-Old’, ‘The Pangolin’, ‘An Illustration to Dante’, ‘Things’, Weathering’, ‘For Heidi with Blue Hair’, ‘Where They Lived’ and Counting’.. Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed Fleur Adcock at her home in London on 29 June 2007. This film is from the DVD-anthology In Person: 30 Poets, filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce & edited by Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books, 2008).
Australia & New Zealand: Victoria University Press