The quick and the dead

Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Beginning of Spring is set at that moment in Moscow when the change of seasons is marked by a quickening sense of liquefying movement: the melting of …

Pareidolia

Melted likeness in the mountain’s landslide, like the prophet in a crust of bread, defers to the face in the brain that is part idolatry, part will to survive. We …

Chuang-Tzu and Prospero

Caleb Klaces on the improbable range of Christopher Middleton’s work Christopher Middleton Collected Later Poems Carcanet, £25.00   Christopher Middleton’s Collected Later Poems begins with something missing. The first poem, ‘For …

The Animals That Love You, At Dusk

I pass through the fig that is your body your compass rose in its ripeness it owns both nadir & zenith I pass above & beneath it while all around …

Returning an Echo

Peter Robinson on the aspirations of Derek Mahon’s ‘adaptations’ Derek Mahon Echo’s Grove Gallery, €22.50/€13.90 Derek Mahon’s ‘Echo’, subtitled ‘from the Latin of Ovid, Metamorphoses III, 356-402’, begins by explaining how …

Stoppages

(after M. Duchamp)   A line cast over water settles on the water skin. Salmon engage in piscine trigonometry, track the crooked trajectory of light. Pouting courtiers, indifferent to our …

The Odd Couple

The most unexpected, and as it turned out inspiring, book I read last year was Airmail (Bloodaxe, 2013), a collection of letters between the American poet Robert Bly and the Swedish Nobel …

Narrating from the Margins

Chrissy Williams Flying Into The Bear HappenStance £4.00 Fiona Moore The Only Reason for Time HappenStance £4.00 Tim Liardet Madame Sasoo Goes Bathing Shoestring £7.00 Shazea Quraishi The Courtesans Reply …

Pantheon

Pan follows you to a wet wall to pebble dash your hopes that you’d at least seen some green in the fair silos. Shivered when you felt intentions were not …

Everyday Odysseys

Clare Pollard Ovid’s Heroines Bloodaxe £9.95 Kate Tempest Brand New Ancients Picador £9.99   Ovid’s Heroides, written some time between 25 and 16 BCE, was pretty groundbreaking stuff. A series …

To all laments and purposes

Against platinum birches I want nothing here [but you].   We have trees at home. Shall I wing you the courtyard fountain’s   midnight palaver, to lull the list of …

Instruments of the imagination

In a recent feature in the FT, a journalist quotes the painter Frank Auerbach as saying ‘some people are natural draughtsmen. I sometimes feel sorry for them – you have
to work through …

Canakkale

All but a century gone. By the thousand, pinned down on slopes, on beachheads shot to death, and rawboned, ours and theirs, blown to pieces. Two-faced anthropos, late again, stirs …

How Hard Can It Be?

Keston Sutherland The Odes to TL61P Enitharmon £8.99 Simon Jarvis Eighteen Poems Eyewear £12.99 Luke Kennard A Lost Expression Salt 12.99 Cherry Smyth Test, Orange Pindrop £9.99   Well before …

Rocking On and Off the Page

Paul Muldoon Songs and Sonnets Enitharmon, £9.99 Paul Muldoon The Word on the Street Faber, £12.99 Benjamin Zephaniah (Film directed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce) To Do Wid Me Bloodaxe, £12.00 Luke …