This is the Life: Selected Poems

This is the Life: Selected Poems

By Alistair Elliot

Price: £12.50

ISBN: 978-1-912524-79-2

Number of pages: 202

Poetry, English, Paperback, 135x210mm

Alistair Elliot (1932–2018) was equally distinguished as a poet and a translator. He published ten collections of his own work as well as translations of Aristophanes, Euripides, Heine, Verlaine, Valery and many other European poets including Horace, Dante and Mallarmé.

His poems are marked by humane acuity, subtlety of feeling, breadth and depth of learning, and a formal mastery whose music is so assured it has no need to seek the reader’s attention. Elliot was a Classicist by training: his work is as much at home in the ancient world as the present, and his central subject is people: what they love, fear and hope for, what they create and what they leave to posterity.

Elliot is both an elegist and a comedian. He works fluently across the modes from lyric to drama, and his poetry is equally at home in the local high street or sailing in the Western Isles as it is in retracing Horace’s footsteps or taking the stage in the West End or on Broadway. Elliot’s voice is unique in its humane civility and sympathy and should be heard and celebrated by all those who care for the art of poetry.

This selection is edited by Elliot’s fellow-poet Sean O’Brien.

‘Exceptional, both resonant and immediate, historically demanding and yet always lively and readable’ – Anne Stevenson

‘Elliot writes as if we still (just) share a common culture. His reader eavesdrops on an astringent and refreshingly perceptive intelligence.’ – Dick Davis