Gift Songs by John Burnside
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Gift Songs
By John Burnside

Gift Songs

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Format: Paperback

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Gift Songs by John Burnside

Book Awards

  • Shortlisted for Forward Poetry Prize: Best Collection 2007.

Book Description

To the Shakers, a good song was a gift; indeed the test of a song's goodness was how much of a gift it was. In their call to 'labour to make the way of God your own', Shaker artists expressed an aesthetic that had much in common with the old Japanese notion, attributed to Hokusai, that to paint bamboo, one had first to become bamboo. In his tenth collection, John Burnside begins with an interrogation of the gift song, treating matters of faith and connection, the community of living creatures and the idea of a free church - where faith is placed, not in dogma or a possible credo, but in the indefinable - and moves on through explorations of time and place, towards a tentative and idiosyncratic re-ligere, the beginnings of a renewal of the connection to, and faith in, an ordered world. The book closes with a series of meditations on place, entitled 'Four Quartets', intended both as a spiritual response to the string quartets of Bartok and Britten (as Eliot's were to Beethoven's late quartets), and as an experiment in the poetic form that the finest of poets, the true miglior fabbro, chose as a medium for his own declaration of faith. The poems in this collection are true gifts: thrillingly beautiful, charged with power and mystery, each imbued with the generous skills of a master of his craft.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780224079976
ISBN-10: 0224079972
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 130mm x 9mm)
Pages: 112
Imprint: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Books By Author John Burnside

Still Life with Feeding Snake by John Burnside Still Life with Feeding Snake, Paperback (February 2017)

A book of poems live at the edge of loss, or on the cusp of epiphany, always seeking that brief instant of grace when we see what is before us, and not just what we expected to find.

Ashland & Vine by John Burnside Ashland & Vine, Hardback (February 2017)

It is 1999. Kate Lambert, a grieving, semi-alcoholic film student, invites an elderly woman to take part in an oral-history documentary. The woman, Jean Culver, declines, but makes her a bizarre counter-offer: if Kate can stay sober for four days, she will tell her a story.

Dumb House by John Burnside Dumb House, Paperback (August 2015)

As a child, Luke's mother often tells him the story of the Dumb House, an experiment on newborn babies raised in silence, designed to test the innateness of language. As Luke grows up, his interest in language and the delicate balance of life and death leads to amateur dissections of small animals.

Black Cat Bone by John Burnside Black Cat Bone, Paperback / softback (July 2015)

Originally published: London: Jonathan Cape/Random House Group Ltd, 2011.

» View all books by John Burnside

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Author Biography - John Burnside

John Burnside is amongst the most acclaimed writers of his generation. His novels, short stories, poetry and memoirs have won numerous awards, including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Whitbread Poetry Award, the Encore Award and the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year. In 2011 he became only the second person to win both the Forward and T. S. Eliot Prizes for poetry for the same book, Black Cat Bone. In 2015 he was a judge for the Man Booker Prize. He is a Professor in the School of English at St Andrews University.

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