Muscovy

Muscovy

Matthew Francis
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Author:  Matthew Francis
Condition:  New
Format:  Hardback
Pages:  80
Publisher:  Faber & Faber
Year:  2013
ISBN:  9780571297351

Like his acclaimed Mandeville (2008), Matthew Francis's fourth Faber collection explores a world of marvels, real and fantastic. A man takes off for the moon in an engine drawn by geese, a poltergeist moves into a remote Welsh village, and a party of seventeenth-century Englishmen encounter the wonders of Russia - sledges, vodka, skating and Easter eggs. The scientist Robert Boyle basks in the newly discovered radiance of phosphorus (the noctiluca of the title) and the theme of light in darkness is taken up by the more personal poems in the book: phoneboxes, streetlamps, moonlight. The joys of the world and of the imagination find their equivalent in Francis's joy in the possibilities of language:

'A basket of snow for the Empress / with a poem of
modest triumph: / I made this out of what does not last.'