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A book about bodies, dead and living, real and imagined, earthbound and resurrected

Corpus - Michael Symmons Roberts' Whitbread-Prize winning fourth collection - centres around the body. Mystical, philosophical and erotic, the bodies in these poems move between different worlds - life and after-life, death and resurrection - encountering pathologists' blades, geneticists' maps and the wounds of love and war.

Equally at ease with scripture (Jacob wrestling the Angel in 'Choreography') and science ('Mapping the Genome'), these poems are a thrilling blend of modern and ancient wisdom, a profound and lyrical exploration of the mysteries of the body:' So the martyrs took the lamb./ It tasted rich, steeped in essence/ Of anchovy. They picked it clean/ And found within, a goose, its pink/ Beak in the lamb's mouth like a tongue.' Ranging effortlessly between the physical extremes of death - from putrefaction to purification - and life - drought and flood, hunger and satiation - the poems in Corpus speak most movingly of 'living the half-life between two elements', of what it is to be unique and luminously alive.

Reviews

Gorgeously meditative.

Christina Patterson, Independent

Michael Symmons Roberts is a religious poet, though not in the sense of brandishing doctrinal certainties; he reflects on the world in a way that is informed by a sense of grace, of transcendence, but the pieces are grounded in detail, beautifully expressed, subtly luminous.

Robert Potts, Guardian

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Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781409000297

    July 1, 2010

    Vintage Digital

    80 pages

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  • Corpus
    Michael Symmons Roberts

    Paperback

    9780224073424

    August 15, 2004

    Jonathan Cape

    80 pages

    RRP $36.99

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