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  Top » Catalog » Poets

Two Countries

Two Countries

Two Countries
Poems D.M. Thomas

Paperback 80 pages
ISBN 978 1 903427 65 1

Best known for his international bestseller, The White Hotel, D.M.Thomas has in recent years returned to his first love, poetry, for which he has won a Cholmondeley Award. 

In this new, highly autobiographical collection, he moves from poems about his origins, in Cornwall – taking in two formative years in Australia – to Russia. 

The Russia Train, a long poem, is a free-flowing memoir, of love and desire, youth and age, seen through the dreamy perspective of a Moscow–Petersburg river cruise. It is also a homage to the great Russian poets and authors, especially Pushkin and Akhmatova, whom Thomas has notably translated, and Solzhenitsyn, whose biography won Thomas the Orwell Prize. 

Francis Boutle is concurrently publishing his new translation of Pushkin’s famous verse-novel Onegin. 

Of Thomas’s previous collection, Flight and Smoke, also from Francis Boutle: ‘Picking one’s way between Thomases, there is a danger of missing the poet behind The White Hotel. Before that novel brought him fame (and considerable scandal), D.M.Thomas had made his reputation as a poet of sex and its Freudian undercurrents, but also of place (specifically Cornwall)... Flight and Smoke is a varied, funny, and moving book, never dull, occasionally shocking... Every poem offers something new, and those with a narrative thrust have particular appeal. There are pieces on cricket, classical music, film, travel. There are triolets and dialect poems (including the hilarious ‚“Dover beach is located in europe”, based on a student’s internet essay). There are amusing sonnet parodies (“Shall I compare you all to Doris Day?”, “My mistress’ eyes scan nothing but the Sun”), though Thomas uses the form more memorably in “Bright Star”, which gives a voice to Fanny Brawne, and quite brilliantly in “The Half-Rhyme” .’ Times Literary Supplement.

The same formal variety and brilliance, together with a unified, deeply thoughtful emotional tone, may be found in Two Countries.

D.M. Thomas is a poet and novelist. He was awarded the Los Angeles Fiction prize for his novel The White Hotel, which has been translated into 30 languages; a Cholmondeley award for poetry; and the Orwell Prize for his biography of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. His translations of Russian poetry have been highly praised.


This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 18 May, 2011.
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Regular Cornish language classes with Mick Paynter.

London. The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery permanent exhibition of women in medicine.

First Sunday of every month, Redruth. Shout with the Red River singers.

Second Wednesday of every month, Luxulyan. Prys Ton – Cornish Music Session.

Until 6 May 2018, Leicester. Lancelot Ribeiro: A Voyage of Discovery, an exhibition tracing the story of this important Indian artist.

5 March 2018, Bodmin. Gool Perran – St Piran’s Tide procession and street dance at Mount Folly.

5 March 2018, Newquay. Gool Perran – St Piran’s Tide procession through Newquay followed by a singing session.

6th, 13th, 20th, 27th March 2018, Cornwall. Singing rehearsals for the Man Engine events.

10 March 2018, Manchester. Discover the suffrage movement through papers, posters and performance at the People’s History Museum.

10 March 2018, Bude. Closing Dance at the Pagan Regional Conference with Merv and Alison Davey.

13 March 2018, Salisbury Cathedral. A talk by Elizabeth Crawford about Millicent Fawcett and her circle.

15 March 2018, London. Book Launch of The Red Vial by Wilkie Collins with dramatic readings from the play by Di Sherlock and Simon Vaughan.

24 March 2018, Southwark Cathedral. Elizabeth Crawford gives an illustrated talk: Pictures and Politics: the art of suffrage propaganda.

24 March 2018, Museum of London Elizabeth Crawford joins a panel discussion on the legacy of the suffrage movement through the eyes of contemporary writers.

31st March 2018, Pendeen. Man Engine Resurrection Tour afternooner event at the Geevor Tin Mine.

Friday 30 March to Monday 30 April 2018, Cornwall. Alan M. Kent’s new play, The Incredible Balti Celtic Carpet Ride tour, tours Cornwall.

1 April 2018, Pool. Man Engine Resurrection Tour afternooner event at Heartlands, Pool.

5 April 2018, London. Launch of Art and Suffrage with a Q&A with the author Elizabeth Crawford.

7 April 2018 2018, Newquay. Nos Dons Kernow / Cornish dance night with Tan Ha Dowr.

19 April 2018, St Just. Cornish music at Trevithick Day, Camborne.

28 April 2018, Camborne. Man Engine Resurrection Tour afternooner event at Heartlands, Pool.