40 Sonnets

**Winner of The Costa Poetry Prize 2015**

This new collection from Don Paterson, his first since the Forward prize-winning Rain in 2009, is a series of forty sonnets. Some take a more traditional form, some are highly experimental, but what these poems share is a lyrical intelligence and musical gift that has been visible in his work since his first book of poems, Nil Nil, in 2009.

Addressed to children, friends and enemies, the living and the dead, musicians, poets and dogs, these poems display an ambition in their scope and tonal range matched by the breadth of their concerns. Here, voices call home from the blackout and the airlock, the storm cave and the séance, the coalshed, the war, the ringroad, the forest and the sea. These are voices frustrated by distance, by shot glass and bar rail, by the dark, leaving the 'sound that fades up from the hiss, / like a glass some random downdraught had set ringing, / now full of its only note, its lonely call . . .'

In 40 Sonnets Paterson returns to some of his central themes - contradiction and strangeness, tension and transformation, the dream world, and the divided self - in some of the most powerful and formally assured poems he has written to date.


"Winner of the 2015 Costa Prize for Poetry, 40 Sonnets marks a welcome return by Paterson to the poetry fold. Characterised by its playful experimentation and traditionalist approach to the sonnet form, Paterson shows an acute awareness of the self, of life and the afterlife. Recurrent themes of the body and the sea feature throughout this humorous yet poignant collection of elegies, dedications and personal reminiscences. Paterson's confidence in the poetic form and fluidity of language makes 40 Sonnets an engaging and captivating read."

-Suzi Higton, Scottish Poetry Library volunteer

Publisher: Faber & Faber
Year: 2015
ISBN: 9780571310890
Hardback, Scottish