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Pocket Horizon

Edited by Kelly Swain, Don Paterson

'Is any of this wise, as well as true? For me? For us? For you?'

A ‘pocket horizon’ is an instrument for navigation: a small, smooth, darkened glass providing a reflective surface from which to take one’s bearings when the true horizon cannot be seen. In this new anthology, an array of objects from the history of science and medicine serve as points of navigation for the seven contributors, who have worked with leading poet Don Paterson to refine and develop the poems collected here.

The objects, originally found in the Whipple Museum, Cambridge and Wellcome Collection, London, include horses’ teeth, a clockwork orrery depicting the universe, fragile hand-made glass fungi, and the prism used by Newton in his ‘Crucial Experiment’. A parade of amputees marches the reader past a case full of artificial limbs, one of the first clocks in Britain tolls the hour, a wave machine immerses us in the currents of human love, and votive models murmur questions from the past. The poems bring out the stories and histories behind these remarkable items, and are paired with original artwork by renowned illustrator Cassie Herschel-Shorland. Pocket Horizon is a book of excursions into the human mind and body, and the story of a world we feel compelled to map.

Includes poems by: Richard Barnett, Mick Delap, Malene Engelund, Lorraine Mariner, Dominic McLoughlin, Kelley Swain and Sarah Westcott

"It’s a delight to introduce this excellent short collection of poems ... Pocket Horizon represents a wholly successful collaboration, and it’s my hope that we see many more."
— Don Paterson

"To the readers of a few centuries hence these poems themselves might, perhaps, come to seem just as intriguingly marvellous as anything that they describe."
— Jonathan Barnes, The Lancet

GENERAL INFORMATION

Edition: Paperback

Date Published: 2013-10-30

ISBN: 9781908853295

Catalogue Number: VP0049

Number of Pages: 48


Cover design by Jamie McGarry

Cover photograph by Marcos Avlonitis

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