978-0-393-05061-5 / 9780393050615

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About the book:

A landmark event and cause for international celebrationnever before collected, the poems and lyrics of Paul McCartney. This slipcased, numbered, and signed edition of Blackbird Singing is limited to a printing of 250 copies.

To actually read Paul McCartney's poems, whether exuberant love ballads or poignant messages of deepest grief, is to revel in the sheer power of language and to appreciate the electrifying confluence of dream and song. His words are as pure and magical as we remember them. Here, in his first collection of poems and lyrics, McCartney emerges with a dreamlike yet thoroughly mature voice that confirms his stature as one of the most original and best-loved poets of our time.

While readers will be familiar with many of these lyricslike "Yesterday," "Penny Lane," and "Hey Jude," all of which are part of the twentieth century's most cherished songbookthis volume also contains dozens of poems never seen before, including the autobiographical "In Liverpool," and the moving tribute "Ivan," an elegy for his dear friend Ivan Vaughn, which broke the dam and inspired a torrent of original poems written throughout the 1990s. McCartney's emotional range and brilliant wordplay remain remarkably consistent throughout the lyrics and poems. As Adrian Mitchell insightfully writes in his introduction, "Sometimes his poems are light as feathers. They can tickle or fly or delight the eye. Sometimes he writes four lines as heavy as a double-decker bus, or the heart itself."

Inspired by his late wife, Linda McCartney, Blackbird Singing gives us extraordinary access to the inner life of one of the most influential figures of twentieth-century culture. Whether commenting on the strange unpredictability of life ("Little Willow") or the heinous folly of nuclear weapons ("Chasing the Cherry"), no one is more able than McCartney to use language to soar above the selfishness and intolerance that can bring us down. The poems here demonstrate, against an acknowledgment of the solitariness of existence, an irrepressible belief in the power of words and music "to take a sad song and make it better."

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