In the seventy-three poems collected here Muriel Spark works in open forms as well as villanelles, rondels, epigrams, and even the tour de force of a twenty-one page ballad. She also shows herself a master of unforgettable short poems. Before attaining fame as a velist (Memento Mori, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), Muriel Spark was already an acclaimed poet. The power and control of her poetry, as Publishers Weekly remarked, is almost startling. With the vitality and wit typical of all her work, Dame Muriel has never stopped writing poems, which frequently appear in The New Yorker. As with all her creations, the poems show Spark to be astonishingly talented and truly inimitable (The San Francisco Chronicle).
The writer of some of the best sentences in English (The New Yorker), Muriel Spark (1918-2006) was the author of dozens of novels including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Memento Mori, and The Driver's Seat. She became Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1993.