The End of the Trial of Man

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The End of the Trial of Man (Arc Publications, 2015)

The End of the Trial of Man(Arc Publications, 2015)

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No one is writing like this, or quite like this, or not that I have read recently in the English tongue.” —Stephen Romer

 

In this new collection of poems, Paul Stubbs re-imagines a future age of metaphysics, philosophy and post-religious terror; with the tutelary spirit of Francis Bacon hovering above each poem, his paintings as mere starting points, Stubbs brings religion to its base and biological conclusion by charting, among other figures, the ‘rough beast’ of Yeats en route still to Bethlehem. The religious protagonists in this book, such as the pope, the apostate and the ascetic, are all forced, through a crisis of faith, to take on new spiritual contortions, as the poet relocates them to the newly envisioned terrains of his mind. In this ground-breaking collection, amid the ‘notquite’ anatomies of Stubbs’ distinctive imagination, we encounter ‘the final theological / drift of the peoples of / the faiths.

 

There is something of the late R.S. Thomas at large in Stubbs’ work for sure, especially in the subversive religiosity. There’s even a whisper of Les Murray in his to-the-glory-of-god mode, even a touch of Geoffrey Hill, even Eliot, but in the end, Stubbs is very much his own man, talking his own talk.” Tim Liardet

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The End of the Trial of Man

Paul Stubbs

Arc Publications, 2015

ISBN 9781908376015

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To order the book
http://inpressbooks.co.uk/products/the-end-of-the-trial-of-man

(Cover image: Francis Bacon, Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1953 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2015).

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“For nearly two decades (or perhaps millennia) Paul Stubbs has been engaged in the task of imagining what lies beyond the imagination. (…) There is no guardrail to this kind of project, no literary guide or physical limit, only exploration. The extraordinary thing about the poems in The End of the Trial of Man, his fifth collection, is that they never obey the so-called rules of creative writing. They never speak politely from the visible realm to the invisible, but, like X-rays, they get straight under the surface and make images of insides: “as along the wrought mental-wires of my brain vibrates now the voice of no God”. We’ve grown used to a different kind of poetry. To enjoy this book you have to perform something like a backward roll of Descartes, who pointed out that the mind is much more clearly and distinctly known to us than the world. Once you’ve dropped the idea that poets ought to write sensuous, sensible poems about sensuous, sensible things, then the Stubbs picture-show can start. (…) Everything about the verse is transgressive and brand-new and seemingly home-made. It’s no good tutting over its metrical or grammatical misbehaviour – you must watch the visions and let the rules remake themselves”.

Alice Oswald, The Poetry Review (Volume 105:2 Summer 2015, pages 46-48).
http://poetrysociety.org.uk/publications/volume-105-no-2-summer-2015/

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“Unique is a devalued term, especially in poetry. We’re drowning in unique voices, doing identical things. Paul Stubbs is the only English poet I think the term applies to. His work shows no interest in anything, except the poetic imagination. How it exists, and coexists, with his inner religious landscape. And what future his imagination can create.”

Paul Sutton, Stride Magazine (February 2015)

An Act of Failure: PAUL STUBBS INTERVIEWED BY PAUL SUTTON (Stride magazine)
http://www.stridemagazine.co.uk/Stride%20mag%202015/feb2015/Stubbs.int.htm

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“As with many great poets, Stubbs doesn’t provide a solution to these cogitations about the meat and guts of experience. We may be inhabiting a barren steppe as a result of apostasy. We may have been left like a deformed child in a clay jar at some immemorial crossroads for the wolves to devour us. What’s certain is that these questions will lead us only to a utopia, a no-place, or the nightmare of it, where all utopias end. In a poem entitled “Death of Utopia,” Stubbs addresses the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit, as Ginsberg wrote in Howl. We are provided with the “last known clump of Eliot´s world” and we tread a “steaming earth where tomorrow man will arrive, to give birth to it: his eschatological foetus” and “Eliot, not Christ, rots back onto the grass…” Such a dialogue between Eliot and angst in both Stubbs’ and Bacon’s work is just one aspect that informs this collection with a gravity and sense of the epic that many have aspired to, yet couldn’t achieve.”

Anthony Seidman, Entropy magazine, May 2015
To read the full review: http://entropymag.org/the-end-of-the-trial-of-man-by-paul-stubbs/

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The End of the Trial of Man

The End of the Trial of Man

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