ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: October 3, 2019
The Music of Time
By John Burnside
Though we might not realise it, our collective memory of the twentieth century was defined by the poets who lived and wrote in it. At every significant turning point we find them, pen in hand, fingers poised at the typewriter, ready to distil the essence of the moment, from the muddy wastes of the Western front to the vast reckoning that came with the end of empire.
This is the first and only history of twentieth century poetry, by the acclaimed poet, author and academic John Burnside. Bringing together poets from times and places as diverse as Tsarist Russia, 1960’s America and Ireland at the height of the Troubles, The Music of Time reveals how poets engaged with and shaped the most important issues of their times – and were in their turn affected by their context and dialogue with each other. This is a major work of scholarship, that on every page bears witness to the transformative beauty and power of poetry.
John Burnside (b. 1955) is the author of fourteen collections of poetry and eleven works of fiction, as well as three uncompromising memoirs. He has achieved wide critical acclaim, winning the Whitbread Poetry Award in 2000 for The Asylum Dance which was also shortlisted for the Forward and T. S. Eliot prizes, and winning the 2011 T. S. Eliot Prize for Black Cat Bone. In 2015 he was a judge for the Man Booker Prize. Born in Scotland, he moved away in 1965, returning to in 1995. In the intervening period he worked as a factory hand, a labourer, a gardener and, for ten years, as a computer systems designer. He is a professor of English Literature at the University of St Andrews and divides his time between Fife and Berlin.