‘Rough music’ is the old English name for a custom of public scapegoating. This is a book full of disturbing musical echoes, in which brilliant renewals of carol, charm, folksong and ballad explore themes of violence, loss and belonging. Fiona Sampson’s characteristic lyric intensity deftly fuses metaphysics and politics with the vernacular of daily life.
Cover painting: Marek Ormandik, Suboj (‘Combat’). Reproduced by kind permission of the artist. Cover design StephenRaw.com
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