Book summary: Folding the Real

2001 BY FIONA SAMPSON

Fiona Sampson's second full length book of poems is as varied and well crafted as any that will be published this year. Her intellect and humanity are underlain by a compelling poetic talent. Surviving a murder attempt generates the clarity, compression and pure celebratory drive of the book's title sequence of fourteen syllabic sonnets. It forms the spinal cord of the entire collection, from which nerve endings reach out into a dizzying range of poetic matter, while retaining the book's essential cohrerence and integrity, and what maura Dooley calls Sampson's incisive, inquisitive, painterly eye. Fiona sampson's poems explore modes of perception and constanly query our view of reality. They charrt a keen and complicated response to experience. Included here is the long poem, the multi-part 'Green Thought', winner of the Newdigate Prize. Typically its themes and variations are multiple, from love to the beauty of a Welsh woodland, from the joy of unadulterated desire to the suspect implications of irradiated fields.

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