Part of the pleasure of poetry is unravelling the mysteries and difficulties they contain and solving the puzzles that lie within. Who, for instance, was Ozymandias? What is the Snark? Who is Crazy Jane? Or indeed, who is “you” in a poem?
In this wonderful new book, acclaimed poet John Fuller looks at some of our greatest poems and considers the number of individual puzzles at their heart, and casts light on how we should approach these conundrums as readers. From riddling to double entendres, mysterious titles to red herrings, Fuller playfully unpicks the puzzles in works that range from Shelley to Auden, Empson to Eliot, Browning to Bishop, to help us reach the rewards and revelations that lie at the centre of some of our best-loved poems.
John Fuller is an acclaimed poet and novelist. He has written eighteen collections of poetry, most recently
Pebble & I and Song & Dance, both chosen as Poetry Book Society Recommendations. His 2004
collection, Ghosts, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award for Poetry; The Space of Joy, published in 2006,
was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award. He is Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford.