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Not Even This

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781472156068

Price: £14.99

ON SALE: 6th May 2021

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

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‘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 which 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, full of delights. Jack Underwood is open and attentive to the questions that the world and his daughter continue to present: thrilling, terrifying, fundamental.


Reading Not Even This felt like waking up in a clearer, stranger and more beautiful world, with some new and holistic grasp of theoretical physics, finance and philosophy, poetry and parenthood. Every other page made me cry. Underwoord writes with such intellectual generosity and emotional precision, by turns as consoling as a hug and vertiginous as a sudden fall. It's a magical book. An incantation to be fully present, fully concerned, fully alive
Luke Kennard