This volume, the first full collection of Francis Warner’s poems for more than twenty years, confirmed his position as a master of lyric form, and also made possible a deeper awareness of the consistency of his development, and the range of his poetic achievement.
Collected Poems contains sonnets in every classical form – also sonnets reversed, inside-out, upside-down, ends-to-middle, with centre-rhyme, boot-lace rhyme, in two voices, acrostic, double acrostic. . . . Far from being merely a cascade of virtuosity, they are filled with deep emotion and rich experience, as well as being precisely made: modifications of the form grown from the pressure and directions of the emotions. The ‘dark’ sonnets are here (this time along with more than fifty others), but these now can be seen set in their original context, the sequence Experimental Sonnets – a book about which much has been written, on account of its technical innovations and its range of feeling, but the full text of which had been unavailable for twenty years.
In addition to such longer poems as his classical evocation Perennia, and over one hundred lyrics brought together for the first time, there are songs from ten plays.
‘Some of the most rewarding and individual poetry of the last quarter century.’ Glyn Pursglove in Francis Warner’s Poetry (1988)More info →