Deaths of the Poets

Michael Symmons Roberts

£9.99

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Vintage Publishing
8 February 2018
ISBN: 9780099581321
Paperback

From the publisher

From Dylan Thomas's eighteen straight whiskies to Sylvia Plath's desperate suicide in the gas oven of her Primrose Hill kitchen; from Chatterton's Pre-Raphaelite demise to Keats' death warrant in a smudge of arterial blood, the deaths of poets have often cast a backward shadow on their work.

The post-Romantic lore of the dissolute drunken poet has fatally skewed the image of poets in our culture. Novelists can be stable, savvy, politically adept and in control, but poets should be melancholic, doomed and self-destructive. Is this just an illusion , or is there some essential truth behind it? What is the price of poetry?

In this book, two contemporary poets embark on a series of journeys to the death places of poets of the past, in part as pilgrims, but also as investigators, interrogating the myth.