Aphorisms have been described as ‘the obscure hinterland between poetry and prose’ (New Yorker) – short pithy statements that capture the essence of the human condition in all its shades. In this New and Selected, master of the form Don Paterson brings the best examples from his two previous volumes together with ingenious new material relevant to today’s world. Moving and mischievous, canny and profound – these wide-ranging observations of no more than one or two lines demonstrate that the aphorism is the perfect form for our times. Consciousness is the turn the universe makes to hasten its own end. * Agnosticism is indulged only by those who have never suffered belief. * Poet: someone in the aphorism business for the money.