Summer reading 2016: Poetry

Horatia Harrod picks her books of the year so far

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Measures of Expatriation, by Vahni Capildeo, Carcanet Press, RRP£9.99/$15.99

“Language is my home,” writes Vahni Capildeo — born in Trinidad, resident in the UK, possessor of an Oxford degree in Old Norse — whose tumbling, polyglottal collection of poems and prose-poems, Measures of Expatriation, tells stories of exile and migration by turns playful and ferocious.


Aeneid Book VI, by Seamus Heaney, Faber, RRP£14.99/ Farrar, Straus and Giroux, RRP$23

How fitting that the final published poem by Seamus Heaney, arriving three years after his death in 2013, should be a translation of Virgil’s Aeneid VI, in which Aeneas descends into the underworld to be reunited with his father. Heaney’s muscular verse, thick with the sounds and textures of nature, is a powerful posthumous gift.


No Map Could Show Them, by Helen Mort, Chatto, RRP£10/ Random House, RRP$22.95

The superb young Sheffield poet Helen Mort is also in the resurrection game, although her sights in No Map Could Show Them are fixed upwards to a century’s worth of female mountaineers, a “cordée feminine” heading for ever greater heights away from an echoing chorus of masculine disapproval.

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