From Base Materials

Jenny Lewis

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Carcanet Press Ltd
21 June 2024
ISBN: 9781800174160
90 pages

From the publisher

Rich and various, From Base Materials ranges thematically from violence towards women, love in old age and surviving cancer to translations from Arabic and Russian and a topical re-imagining of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The poems speak of formation, transformation and the struggles of the human spirit to transmute 'base matter' and accept mortality and frailty of the flesh with courage and compassion. For the long poem, 'Love in Old Age', Jenny Lewis says: 'Although it addresses a lover, it is really about multiple experiences of love (both real and imagined) throughout a long life and how I am as much a literary construct as a human individual. I have drawn on literature that has shaped me, including the Epic of Gilgamesh, early Celtic nature poetry and hermit poetry and, more recently, feminist writings such as those of Hélène Cixous.'