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A QUESTION OF SIGHT AND SOUND AND THREE OTHER NEW PIECES THAT MUST SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

A QUESTION OF SIGHT AND SOUND The tapping of a blind woman’s stick on the ice.When she sings the sound rises from the belly of hunger.When she sees the future she covers her eyes and howls. A xylophone of icycles on a rusted bridge, a bass drum of cloud.A glimmer of moonlight on the coldestContinue reading “A QUESTION OF SIGHT AND SOUND AND THREE OTHER NEW PIECES THAT MUST SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES”

REVIEWERS DON’T HAVE TO BE KIND TO YOU. IF YOU GET A BAD ONE, GET OVER IT!

I’ve noticed several times recently that a critical review of a book has provoked outraged responses from the horde of poets on social media. Today there was an outpouring of support for a person whose poetry collection had been demolished by a national newspaper reviewer. The poet in question went so far as to thankContinue reading “REVIEWERS DON’T HAVE TO BE KIND TO YOU. IF YOU GET A BAD ONE, GET OVER IT!”

MOVING HOUSE AND TWO OTHER POEMS

MOVING HOUSE The house has had enough of the neighbours,enough of their creepy net-curtain twitchingenough of the way they complain about cars parked on the road outside their houseof the way they moan about young peoplesitting on the green, chatting under the willows,smoking or kissing, kicking a ball or riding bikes.The house is sick ofContinue reading “MOVING HOUSE AND TWO OTHER POEMS”

TWO POEMS ON INSIGNIFICANCE

MAN BY A POND Damsel-flies flutterby the pond where the oxygen levelis dropping. An argumentput an end to it. Turning, she saidI didn’t want this, I didn’t want itto end like this. Whiskered batsare waking in ancient walls,hollows of trees. Afternoon’s deep.Geese head south, flying low, callingacross the sky. Whiskered batsmake no noise, don’t goContinue reading “TWO POEMS ON INSIGNIFICANCE”

PAUL CELAN: WHAT SURVIVES?

It’s a hundred years since Paul Celan was born, fifty since he drowned himself in the Seine. And forty-eight years since I bought the now battered copy of his Selected Poems translated for the Penguin Modern European Poets series by Michael Hamburger and Christopher Middleton. Some of the poems are circled, some have lines underlined,Continue reading “PAUL CELAN: WHAT SURVIVES?”

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