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Poem of the week: The Book by FT Prince

A metaphysical love poem that orchestrates a wealth of feeling at the edges of body and soul

This week's poem, The Book, is by the South African poet, FT (Frank Templeton) Prince, who died 11 years ago on 7 August at the age of 90.

His undeserved obscurity reminds us of the randomness of poetic canonisation. TS Eliot picked up Prince's first collection, Poems (1938) for Faber, but rejected subsequent work, and the next collection, Soldiers Bathing (1954), where this week's poem first appeared, was brought out by Fortune Press. As so often, readers should be grateful to the restorative efforts of Carcanet, which brings together all Prince's publications, and some new late work, in the Collected Poems 1935-1992 (2012).

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