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The Anathemata Paperback
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Jones' language swims in its own firmament of High Catholic theology, Welsh Myth, Geography and Geology - and it seems to accrete an enormous weight of both history and meaning to itself in the process. A favourite moment of mine, sees him manage to weld the crumbling of an ice age glacier to the crumbling of the communion wafer. It's certainly not 'easy' reading. but neither does it have that knowingly recondite quality that can make Pound annoying. - Jones chooses his words because they are just the right words for what he wants to say, nothing more or less.
Jones' own notes on the poem are a delight in themselves - largely because they elucidate nothing whatsoever - but do lead you off down any number of fascinating garden paths.
However, the copy of this book is heavily foxed. Maybe it was stored in poor conditions; it can't be that old!
Both David Jone's In Parenthesis and Anathemata are remarkable poetic attempts at making sense of our shared UK history.
I look forward to the day when the BBC releases its broadcast versions of both poems. The atmosphere of Anathemata remains fixed in my memory and holding this well used but foxed copy somehow helps to recall the BBC experience.
It is a valuable service that the old book shops provide via Amazon. We can't all travel to such places as Hay-on-Wye, to spend happy, pleasurable hours searching for rare and valuable publications.