Pamela Norris

On the Brink

The Dark Flood Rises

By

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‘Piecemeal the body dies,’ wrote D H Lawrence in ‘The Ship of Death’, ‘and the timid soul/has her footing washed away, as the dark flood rises.’ Lawrence was dying prematurely from tuberculosis, but he could equally have been describing the decay and diminution of old age. Margaret Drabble has borrowed the title and some of the themes of Lawrence’s poem for her new novel, The Dark Flood Rises, in which she explores the physical and psychological realities of growing old.

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