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Not Even This: Poetry, parenthood and living uncertainly

Jack Underwood

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In this book-length lyric essay, a father and poet reflects on how the birth of his daughter at a time of global existential crisis inspired him to rediscover the importance of poetry as a form of understanding and living with uncertainty

'Fatherhood arrived for me as an existential crisis within the midst of a wider global existential crisis.'

In this highly original book-length lyric essay, a father and poet reflects on how his daughter's birth at a time of great global uncertainty inspired him to rediscover with fresh urgency the importance of language as a realm of 'intimacy, overlap, hope and trust'. Poetry can uniquely offer an understanding of the world which brings its complexity within reach - yet does not seek to reduce or explain that complexity away. Poetry is a form through we might reckon with this uncertain world, learn to inhabit our precarious life more fluently and, in turn, offer what we learn to our children.

From Joan of Arc to the unfathomable gravity of supermassive black holes, from metaphor to quantum mechanics, Not Even This is a moving, thought-provoking work. Jack Underwood is open and attentive to the questions that the world and his daughter continue to present: thrilling, terrifying, fundamental.

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