Carcanet £9.95 (55pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Pearl, By Jane Draycott
Part of the same 14th-century manuscript as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, also written in its dialect, Pearl is an intricately wrought 1200-line elegiac poem.
A father grieves for his small daughter, dead before her second birthday. Anyone who has ever read this wrenchingly beautiful vision of love, and bereavement, and the consolation of faith, knows that historians lie when they say parents in times of high infant mortality didn't care very much for the little ones they lost.
Jane Draycott's fresh version of this anonymous masterpiece is the best available. The glamour, even glitz, of its view of paradise across the river of death dazzles as never before in modern English. And the sadness of the father, "exiled from the country/ of eternity", just breaks the heart.
Arts & Ents blogs
Let's talk book blurbs, those quotes you get, usually from other writers, that are meant to entice y...
Fela Kuti, Jewish food and The Great Gatsby are just some of the reasons why the rainy weather ahead...
Sat in a hotel lobby amidst a music conference in Aarhus around 4am in is a great way to argue, and ...
- 1 Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
- 3 Grace Dent on TV: Extreme Couponing, My Strange Addiction, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, TLC
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.