Many of the poems in Sean OBriens new collection take their emotional tenor and imaginative cue from his acclaimed translation of Dantes Inferno, and occupy a dark, flooded, subterranean world, as dramatically compelling as it is disquieting. Circumstances have compelled OBrien to return repeatedly to the elegiac form, and The Drowned Book contains a number of powerfully moving poems written in memory of fellow poets and artists. The Drowned Book again shows OBrien a master of the authoritative line, and underscores his pre-eminence among contemporary English poets. Praise for Sean OBriens verse translation of Dantes Inferno: Compelling, with a steady incandescence to the language Independent All life is written in Dantes burning pages, and Sean OBrien is to be congratulated on his expert rehabilitation of a classic Spectator Combines urgent readability with a muscular forcefulness The Economist

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