Many of the poems in Sean O’Brien’s new collection take their emotional tenor and imaginative cue from his acclaimed translation of Dante’s Inferno, and occupy a dark, flooded, subterranean world, as dramatically compelling as it is disquieting. Circumstances have compelled O’Brien to return repeatedly to the elegiac form, and The Drowned Book contains a number of powerfully moving poems written in memory of fellow poets and artists. The Drowned Book again shows O’Brien a master of the authoritative line, and underscores his pre-eminence among contemporary English poets.
Praise for Sean O’Brien’s verse translation of Dante’s Inferno:
‘Compelling, with a steady incandescence to the language’ Independent
‘All life is written in Dante’s burning pages, and Sean O’Brien is to be congratulated on his expert rehabilitation of a classic’ Spectator
‘Combines urgent readability with a muscular forcefulness’ The Economist