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Elder by David Constantine review a new collection as the poet turns 70

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Constantine's lifelong devotion to the classics and to German is in evidence in poems that neither avoid death nor permit it to belittle life's gifts

The publication of David Constantine's Elder marks the poet and translator's 70th birthday with a work of impressive range and scale. It manifests his lifelong devotion to the classics and to German, and enables us to see and hear more fully how they have contributed to his own inimitably passionate lyricism. In case anyone should underestimate the seriousness with which he regards the art of poetry, its powers and its responsibilities, Constantine has also published Poetry (OUP £12.99), a short guide to the subject more than that, a work of urgent advocacy.

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