The Sleeping Lord and Other Fragments

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Faber & Faber, 1995 - 111 pages
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These poems, assembled shortly before the author's death in 1974, are all set in parts of the Roman Empire, either in the Holy Land or on the Celtic fringes. They are animated by David Jones's Catholic faith and by his own experiences as a soldier.

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Review: The Sleeping Lord

User Review  - Charles - Goodreads

One of several amazing works by David Jones in which I am currently immersed. I've been meaning to read Jones for a couple of years, and now I'm just sorry I waited this long. Like discovering a new major river. Read full review

About the author (1995)

David Jones did not publish his first book of poetry until his forties. Although he was born in Kent, his Welsh father instilled in him a love for the culture of Wales that pervades his work. At first Jones intended to be an artist, and he left grammar school for Camberwell School of Art. With the outbreak of war, he enlisted in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Robert Graves served as an officer in the same regiment) and served in Flanders and France. After the war, he completed his education and began a successful artistic career, during which he became perhaps best known as an engraver and watercolorist. Immersed in legend, myth, and romance, he held that humans are fundamentally religious. His own religious beliefs led him to convert to Roman Catholicism in 1921. Although W. B. Yeats saluted his first book, Jones stood apart from the literary mainstream of his day, despite obvious debts to the methods of Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and James Joyce. His first volume, In Parenthesis (1937), combines both poetry and prose in chronicling the wartime career of its major figure, John Ball. His even more ambitious second book, The Anathemata: Fragments of an Attempted Writing (1952), uses the structure of the Tridentine Mass to chronicle the history of Britain from early geological times through preindustrial London. Some of its techniques of presentation and counterparting of myths and factual materials resemble Pound's Cantos. W. H. Auden judged it the best modern long poem in English. The later works The Tribune's Visitation and The Sleeping Lord (1974) deal with the Roman Empire in the time of Jesus. Readers will appreciate Jones's inclusion of his own notes to his difficult, allusive verse.

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