But It Was an Important Failure — Omar Sabbagh

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In this fifth collection Omar Sabbagh establishes himself as a mature and distinctive voice in poetry with an extraordinary facility for language, an intense gift for observation, and a reflective and intuitive grasp of connections, especially to others. But It Was An Important Failure is an insightful, lyrical and confessional harvest of engaging poetry; the cultivation of a language garden for 'the rigor and flow in the happiness of gardening.'

Clutch and release, grasp, clinch and let-go
In a small part of this curving parcel of life,
Black and thorough in the frame of the machine

Needling an eye through the seamless pouring
Of love twined by two—I sing my first and my
Final song, a lyric I hear on a harp without strings.

From ‘Heartbeat’

Praise for Omar Sabbagh’s previous work:

Omar Sabbagh writes with rare intensity and generosity. Ideas and images overflow the lines of his verse, as well as their own boundaries, in a Shelleyan helter-skelter. Like Shelley, Sabbagh believes in the transformative power of poetry; unlike Shelley, he is also in love with language itself.

Fiona Sampson