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From the publisher
A year of hand-picked poems and commentaries from the Guardian's 'Poem of the Week' blog. Carol Rumens has been contributing 'Poem of the Week' to the Guardian for more than a dozen years. Do the maths: that's more than 624 blogs! No wonder she has a large and devoted following. She's a poet-reader, not an academic. She is fascinated by the new, but her interest is instructed by the classic poems she has read. They make her ear demanding: when it hears that something, it perks up. She perks up. 'A poem is a small (or large) machine made of words.' Rumens partly agrees with Williams but she develops the conceit, seeing each poem 'as a more flexible instrument, a miniature neo-cortex, that super-connective, super-layered smartest device of the mammalian brain'. She tries to avoid poems built from kits with instruction manuals. She looks for surprises, and she surprises us.