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Beyond This Dark House [Paperback]

Guy Gavriel Kay
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 1 2008

Before Guy Gavriel Kay became known for his groundbreaking works of speculative fiction, establishing himself as one of the world's most respected writers in that genre, he was an accomplished poet, his work appearing in major literary journals such as The Antigonish Review and Prism. Through the years, while writing his dramatic international bestsellers, Kay has continued to quietly explore the paths and boundaries of poetry as well.

Now for the first time, Guy Gavriel Kay's poetry has been gathered and selected for publication. For those familiar with his fiction, the poems in Beyond This Dark House will resonate for their linguistic and emotional nuances and their mythological allusions, echoing and illuminating themes of his fiction.

But readers of contemporary poetry will also be captivated by the exquisite craft and power of these poems. Some are ironic and austere, slyly tracing the interplay of writer and world, present and past; others are sensual, even erotic, charting the mercurial but abiding nature of passion-in love, in language, in history.


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From Amazon

This first collection of poems by well-known fantasy writer Guy Gavriel Kay (Sailing to Sarantium, The Lions of Al-Rassan) is a mix of personal lyrics, travel poems, longer narrative pieces, and poems that reference various historical myths, especially those of ancient Greece. Many of the lyric poems concern Kay's relationships and separations. They are lightly emotive and at times bordering on the sentimental. The longer poems are somewhat stronger, especially the lovely, sad opening piece, which concerns a visit to Winnipeg, his childhood hometown, where "each address marks a grave" and his long-dead father has "more and more long years of being gone / still to come." The poems of travel are set in places such as Greece, Croatia, London, Cornwall, and Wales, and although they are poems of near and far, they always strike a personal note, being more about the poet's state of mind than the view from a window.

Part 3, which includes most of the mythological poems, is a classical forest of proper names that will send the reader back to Bulfinch's Mythology to seek clarification on Orpheus, Medea, Psyche, and others. The author is capable of some fine lines: "A song of loss . . . to bend the starlight / streaming to the world" and "He thrills to the tight hum / of the right words coming." Too often, though, the poems disappear into the personal and lack heightened language or complex rhythms. When Kay gets the tone right, however, with the perfect amount of low-key sentiment, sadness, or ebullience, as in his longer poems, the result can be engaging. --Mark Frutkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

. . . Kay has a gift . . . reading his poetry is like lifting a seashell to one’s ear and hearing the distant echo of the ocean where it was born. -- Alma A. Hromic, SF Site, May 5, 2003

. . . these poems celebrate imaginative connection: to people, to place, and to both private and cultural history. -- Winnipeg Free Press, March 23, 2003

Kay’s images are translucent, his poetry modern in form and yet with an instinctive in innate classicism which speaks to me. -- Alma A. Hromic, SF Site, May 5, 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Who's the idiot who wrote, "the book had a nausighating plot and horrible character developement. The book was just a mish-mash of quantitative trash. Please, for the good of the human race"
This is a book of poetry, for heaven's sake. Poetry isn't supposed to have a plot or characters. And by the way, "quantitative" means numerical, as in scientific. So you're completely wrong on both counts.
It's a fine book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master of the craft Jan. 26 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Guy's poetry has long been read in short pieces during reading of his long novels. For the first time many of his poems are laid out for the reader. He is a master craftsman.
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0 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars horrific April 15 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
the book had a nausighating plot and horrible character developement. The book was just a mish-mash of quantitative trash. Please, for the good of the human race, DON'T READ THIS BOOK!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Poetry by a Superb Craftsman June 9 2005
By tadpole - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am a long-time admirer of this author's fantasy novels, filled with magic due in part to his lyrical use of words. I was overjoyed to rediscover this author as a poet. For fans of his, who might shy away from poetry, don't pass this up. His poems have a haunting, quiet quality that really gets under your skin. He writes about things all of us can relate to. This is a masterpiece by a truly gifted writer.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master of the craft Jan. 26 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Guy's poetry has long been read in short pieces during reading of his long novels. For the first time many of his poems are laid out for the reader. He is a master craftsman.
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ignore the 1-star review, for the good of the human race ... May 18 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Who's the idiot who wrote, "the book had a nausighating plot and horrible character developement. The book was just a mish-mash of quantitative trash. Please, for the good of the human race"
This is a book of poetry, for heaven's sake. Poetry isn't supposed to have a plot or characters. And by the way, "quantitative" means numerical, as in scientific. So you're completely wrong on both counts.
It's a fine book.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another side of Guy Gavriel Kay Sept. 12 2009
By Biz Person - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have all of Kay's novels and bought this out of curiosity. Not being a serious poetry fan, I just browsed through it for an hour. Many poems seem to come from Kay's life and are based here in the real world. There were five or ten that particularly resonated for me and I enjoyed those. For $12, this book will best appeal to Kay collectors or serious poetry buffs.
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond This Dark House - A journey in human experience Oct. 25 2010
By Maria DiDanieli - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I feel that the power behind Guy Gavriel Kay's fiction can be traced to his ability to blend a fantasy world that allows his reader escape with a reality that makes that world tangible and credible. In "Beyond This Dark House", a collection of poems by Kay, a similar pattern ensues. For, while he constructs poems that span from descriptions of extended periods of time to snapshots of moments, and that embody perspectives on mythical archetypes as well as interpretations of contemporary banalities, he offers an opportunity for the reader to become lost in the beautiful intricacy of his composition, while discovering a personal reality. Because, moreso than his commanding fiction, Kay's poems invite a connection to the writer and, by extension, an important view to the web of human experience and spirit. Composed from Kay's heart, and masterfully edited by George Amabile, Beyond This Dark House is an excellent addition to a poet's repertoire of readings, and a palatable collection for anyone who values literary acumen in its various forms.
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