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The Oak Tree and the Branch

(2024)

Poems 2016 – 2023 including A Plague in Arcadia


To be published by CollectiveInk 2024

ISBN: 978-1-78535-849-4 (paperback)

ISBN: 978-1-78535-850-0 (e-book)

The back cover says

The Oak Tree and the Branch sees the UK’s departure from Europe as a lopped branch from the Tree of Tradition of European civilisation. The Tapestry dwells on his rootedness in the past, especially in the Tudor time. A Plague in Arcadia: Oneness with Nature and the Universe presents a host of Nature poems in his local Fairmead’s Arcadian paradise during the spread of coronavirus, the Covid plague. An Oval Cloud presents a sequence of encounters with an oval cloud seen behind his closed eyes, which he tries to understand. Court Poems: More Royal Classical Odes includes Royal events: a wedding, two funerals and a coronation, and another lopped branch. In Arcady: A Gong and Padded Stick surveys his Providential life. And the harrowing Agony in Arcady: Stroke wrings from him the whole range of emotions as he comes to terms with his daughter’s severe stroke (another lopped branch) and heroic endurance. Hagger’s mystical vision of the unity of Nature, the universe and humankind shines through all these new poems.

Hagger derives his inspiration from the 16th- and 17th-century Metaphysical poets and seeks to unite the later Augustan and Romantic traditions. These poems reconcile the soul’s harmony with the universe and the conflicts in public life, and add significantly to the themes of Collected Poems, Classical Odes, Life Cycle and Hagger’s two poetic epics, Overlord and Armageddon, all published by O-Books. They carry forward his Universalist approach to poetry which unveils an ordered universe behind the apparent chaos of world events.

Nicholas Hagger is a poet, man of letters, cultural historian and philosopher. He has lectured at universities in Iraq, Libya and Japan, where he was a Professor of English Literature. He has now written 63 books. These include a substantial and prolific literary output, spanning more than 65 years, of 2,539 poems (including 421 classical odes and 555 sonnets), two poetic epics and 1,422 stories; two travelogues; and innovatory works in literature, history and philosophy. His archive of papers and manuscripts is held as a Special Collection in the Albert Sloman Library at the University of Essex. In 2016 he was awarded a Gusi Peace Prize for Literature, and in 2019 the BRICS silver medal for ‘Vision for Future’.

Nicholas Hagger