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Monday, July 24, 2017

Tom Beau (my poem for Tom Raworth along with others' in Blackbox Manifold) and links to my other tributes


Blackbox Manifold has another fine issue out, number 18, this time with a special section of poems and prose to the memory of Tom Raworth; see the list of contributors below. I haven't read it all yet. But it's here.

My poem 'Tom Beau' is one of the contributions: here.

Earlier this year, I posted three pieces for Tom and linked to some even earlier pieces.

I have written critically of Tom's work a great deal but here's a relaxed take on his extraordinary 14 liners.

But read a decidedly unrelaxed 'On Tom Raworth: The Speed of Writing and the Poetics of What is to One Side' here.

And see my 1999 poem for him from Twentieth Century Blues, posted I.M. here.

But there's more (these posts and links were put of a tribute I put together here on Pages some months ago). How about a passage from my abandoned novel Thelma here which features Tom Raworth as a character? Thelma was my Scouse version of Breton's Nadja!

Tom Beau indeed. He'll be missed... He is missed!


The main section of Blackbox Manifold has work by:
Zohar Atkins, Louis Armand, Alan Baker, Charlie Baylis, James Coghill, Helen Charman, Aidan Coleman, John Goodby, Dominic Hale, Caleb Klaces, Daisy Lafarge, Robert Lietz, Medbh Mcguckian, Anthony Madrid, Kate Noakes, Mary Noonan, Karl O'Hanlon, Dan Raphael, Cal Revely-Calder, Aidan Semmens (who edited the Molly Bloom trubutes to Raworth), Paige Smeaton, Cherry Smyth, David Wheatley, and John Wilkinson.

The Tom Raworth memorial features work by:
Astrid Alben, Dorothy Alexander, Louis Armand, Kate Behrens, Charles Bernstein & Ted Greenwald,  Iain Britton, Robert Burton, Sara Crangle, John Latta, Ed Luker, Colin Lee Marshall, Drew Milne, Joseph Minden, Daniella Moritz, Jeremy Noel-Tod, Philip Byron Oakes, Ian Patterson, John Regan, Denise Riley, Peter Robinson, Kerrin Sharpe, Peter Jay Shippy, Ken Taylor, Jonty Tiplady, Lawrence Upton, Corey Wakeling, John Wilkinson. And me.

There is poetry by eight Chinese women poets translated by Eleanor Goodman. John Wilkinson reviews Poems by Verity Spott & Timonthy Thornton. Adam Piette reviews Keston Sutherland, Shara McCallum, Alan Halsey and Tara Bergin.
   
Redoubtable editors Alex Houen & Adam Piette, thanks for this issue.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Martin Palmer on Petrarch 3

Read Martin Palmer's thoughtful response to my Petrarch 3 here.

He asks some pertinent questions about the effect of what we write when it hits individual readers. He says:

I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think it was Sheppard's original intention to give me work about love that didn't upset me. I might be wrong, but I think he just wanted to write good poetry. Well, he's done both, just in case you wanted to know, and I think it's a welcome change.

Petrarch 3 is still available (see pinned post to the right of this one) and I write about my ongoing sonnets here.


See here and here and here and here for more on my Petrarch obsession/project, including how to purchase it from Crater press.Read the 'original' translation (if you see what I mean) and the doggie version here. One respondee to Martin's blog post said she'd like to read the 'dog' sonnet. There it is: woof!


 

Thanks Martin.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Surrey's poem for Wyatt ransacked

I am going to post these poems as I write them, because of the topicality of their subjects. I shall also only leave them up temporarily, during the composition process. I'm thinking of posting no more than 4 at any one time on the blog. And eventually they will all disappear. See here to check for poems from other days. Scroll back and find the other three... Also note the beginning of this sonnet exploration, Petrarch 3, is still for sale and is the featured post to the right of this column.




Praise the diversity of diversities Fox and Dox will fund
post-Brexit but don’t divulge their private incomes
blowing talk of generous public sector pay (and pensions)
across the lively head of a half pint of British mild

There are no students in this poem but three ‘breasts’
This has nurtured the hatred that forms a collective electorate
beyond the two ‘envies’ of petit bourgeois consumerism
This semantic field is over-manured with false tears

The ‘beautiful’ children with their student debt
launch the biggest bomb they can get by with
Leave my boy alone lkurking under his ambition
The vampires settled like leeches on his veiny arms

Either moderate like a diplomat with the blue plaque treatment
or kiss the ground like a drunk arriving at Lime Street

OR



Praise the diversity of diversities Fox and Dox will fund
(post-Brexit) but don’t divulge their private incomes
blow talk of generous public sector pay (and pensions)
across the lively head of a half pint of English mild

There are no students in this poem but three ‘breasts’
Debt has nurtured a collective electorate that forms
beyond the ‘envies’ of petit bourgeois consumerism
This semantic field is manured with usurers’ false tears

Leave his hero alone lurking beyond ambition
(though he dare not name him in this praise poem)
The vampires settled like leeches on his veiny arms
he was far ahead of his time because he was escaping the past

Either moderate like a diplomat the blue plaque treatment
or kiss the ground like a drunk arriving at Lime Street

OR



Praise the diversity of diversities Fox and Dox will fund
(post-Brexit) but don’t divulge their private incomes
blow talk of generous public sector pay (and pensions)
across the lively head of a half pint of English mild

There are no students in this poem but three ‘breasts’
Debt has nurtured a collective electorate that forms
beyond the ‘envies’ of petit bourgeois consumerism
This semantic field is manured with usurers’ false tears

Leave his hero alone (whom he dares not name) beyond ambition
(Click here for a clip on Sheppard’s ‘aesthetic justice’)
The vampires settled like leeches on his fiery arms
he was far ahead of his time because he was escaping the past

Either moderate like a diplomat the blue plaque treatment
or kiss the ground like a drunk arriving at Lime Street


In a decently completed state;



Direct Rule: What Virtues Rare

Praise the diversity of diversities Fox and Dox will fund
(post-Brexit) but don’t divulge their private incomes
Blow talk of generous public sector pay (and pensions)
across the lively head of a half pint of English mild

There are no students in this poem their standing debt
has nurtured a collective electorate that forms beyond
the ‘envies’ of petit bourgeois consumerism
This semantic field is manured with usurers’ tears

Leave his hero alone (whom he dares not name) beyond ambition
The vampires settled like leeches on his fiery arms
He was far ahead of his time because he was escaping the past
Click here for a clip on Sheppard’s ‘aesthetic justice’

Either moderate like a diplomat the blue plaque treatment
or kiss the ground a drunken student alighting at Lime Street


THAT END:



Either moderate like a diplomat the blue plaque treatment
or kiss the ground a drunken student alighting at Lime Street


or

Either moderate as a diplomat the blue plaque treatment
or kiss the ground like a drunk(en?) student alighting at Lime Street

How bothered am I that this one isn't funny like the others? I'm relieved it's not got dogging in it, but since these overdubs, poems under my direct rule, as my silly conceit has it, are completely at my mercy I can do what I like - or rather, the person in the poem can. He seems to think that I'm somebody else, hence his reference to the Bernstein  clip. The link in the poem above is real and live. Click it?

RS: 11.25

No, it's Friday and some Brexiteer on the radio provided me with the missing line, along with a memory almost nobody will remember of Roy Harper's 'One of those days in England' from the 1970s.



Direct Rule: What Virtues Rare

Praise the diversity of diversities Fox and Dox will fund
(post-Brexit) but don’t divulge their private incomes
Blow talk of generous public sector pay (and pensions)
across the lively head of a half pint of English mild

There are no students in this poem their standing debt
has nurtured a collective electorate that forms beyond
the ‘envies’ of petit bourgeois consumerism
This semantic field is manured with usurers’ tears

Leave Surrey’s hero alone (whom he dares not name) beyond ambition
The vampires settled like leeches on his fiery arms
He was far ahead of his time because he was escaping the past
But now it’s one of those days in sovereign global Britain

Either moderate as a diplomat the blue plaque treatment
or kiss the ground like a drunken student alighting at Lime Street

19th July/21st July









Sunday, July 16, 2017

Direct Rule of Surrey's poem for Geraldine

I am going to post these poems as I write them, because of the topicality of their subjects. I shall also only leave them up temporarily, during the composition process. I'm thinking of posting no more than 4 at any one time on the blog. And eventually they will all disappear. See here to check for poems from other days. Scroll back and find the other three... Also note the beginning of this sonnet exploration, Petrarch 3, is still for sale and is the featured post to the right of this column.




Direct Rule: Ghostly Geraldine

I know two women called Geraldine! Both fun
to party with, both write poetry. Surrey’s Geraldine
grew up in Ireland (like Patricia, but she’ll not
get a passport with that fact either). Lord Strange

of Knocking is knocking on his prison wall, racist Morse
about growing up in white Britain with pure princes,
(and about the ghastly food). Surrey was like that,
cursing new men and mere women. You can see it

in the way he traces the pedigree of Geraldine:
he found her at Hampton but lost her in Windsor.
At the end of the poem he gives her away,
an exercise in Petrarchan petting.

I wish he’d done something with this poem.
I wish I’d done something with my life, like jousting

at a tourney or receiving a blowjob from a man called Gerald. 


Direct Rule: Ghostly Geraldine

I know two women called Geraldine, both fun
to party with; both write poetry. Surrey’s Geraldine
grew up in Ireland (like Patricia, but she’ll not get
a passport with that fact either). Lord Strange

of Knocking is knocking on his prison wall, racist Morse
about growing up in white Britain with pure princes.
Surrey was like that, cursing new men and mere women.
You can see it in the way he traces the pedigree of Geraldine.

He found her at Hampton but lost her in Windsor.
Petrarchan petting! At the end of the poem he gives her away,
like a bad relative at a shot-gun wedding.
I wish he’d done something with this poem.

I wish I’d done something with my life, like jousting
at a tourney,

too throwaway

or receiving a blowjob from a man called Gerald. 



Direct Rule: Ghostly Geraldine

I know two women called Geraldine, both fun
to party with; both write poetry. Surrey’s Geraldine
grew up in Ireland (like Patricia, but she’ll not get
a passport with that fact either). Lord Strange of

Knocking is knocking on his prison wall, racist Morse
about growing up in white Britain with pure princes.
Surrey was like that, cursing new men and mere women.
You can see it in the way he traces the pedigree of Geraldine.

He found her at Hampton but lost her in Windsor.
Petrarchan petting! At the end of the poem he gives her away
like a bad relative at a shot-gun wedding. I wish he’d done
something with this poem. I wish I’d done something

with my life, like jousting at a tourney, or wearing the bays
as I overdub every bad poem with worse.




too throwaway (or blowaway!)

or receiving a blowjob from a man called Gerald. 

FINALLY?:




Direct Rule: Ghostly Geraldine

I know two women called Geraldine, both fun
to party with; both write poetry. Surrey’s Geraldine
grew up in Ireland (like Patricia, but she’ll not get
a passport with that fact either). Lord Strange of

Knockin is knocking on his prison wall, racist twaddle
about growing up in white Britain with pure princes.
Surrey was like that, cursing new men and mere women.
You can see it in the way he traces the pedigree of Geraldine.

He found her at Hampton but lost her in Windsor.
Petrarchan petting! At the end of the poem he gives her away
like a bad relative at a shot-gun wedding. I wish he’d done
something with this poem. I wish I’d done something

with my life, like jousting at a tourney, or wearing the bays
as I overdub every bad poem with worse.


NO: minor changes:



Direct Rule: Ghostly Geraldine and Others

I know two women called Geraldine, both fun
to party with; both write poetry. Surrey’s Geraldine
grew up in Ireland, like Patricia (but she’ll not get
a passport with that fact either). Lord Strange of

Knockin is knocking on his prison wall, racist twaddle
about growing up in white Britain with pure princes.
Surrey was like that, cursing new men and mere women.
You can see it in the way he traces the pedigree of Geraldine.

He found her at Hampton but lost her in Windsor.
Petrarchan petting! At the end of the poem he gives her away
like a bad relative at a shot-gun wedding. I wish he’d done
something with this poem. I wish I’d done something

with my life, like jousting at a tourney, or wearing the bays
as I overdub every bad poem for my lady with worse.




Friday, July 14, 2017

Direct Rule of the Earl of Surrey's sonnets!

I am going to post these poems as I write them, because of the topicality of their subjects. I shall also only leave them up temporarily, during the composition process. I'm thinking of posting no more than 4 at any one time on the blog. And eventually they will all disappear. See here to check for poems from other days. Scroll back and find the other three... Also note the beginning of this sonnet exploration, Petrarch 3, is still for sale and is the featured post to the right of this column.



Direct Rule: Windsor

Like a man filming his wife taking a selfie
of her silvered face in Windsor Park, this poem
is a record of its own discovering. Lusty? Very!
‘This is such a pleasant spot to stain with pleasure,

the picnic tables, the rustic spread, the chorus
of wasps round the bin,’ the Rake from Hell remarks,
pulling his vest back on but feeling well pissed off,  
sporting in my simile where he shelters like a spent penny,



Wrote the octet first, which is unusual. Onwards:




Direct Rule: Windsor

Like a man filming his wife taking a selfie
of her silvered face in Windsor Park, this poem
is a record of its own discovering. Lusty? Very!
‘This is such a pleasant spot to stain with pleasure,
Image result for picnic table
the picnic tables, the rustic spread, the chorus
of wasps around the bin,’ the Rake from Hell remarks,
pulling his vest back on but feeling well pissed off, 
sporting in my simile where he shelters like a spent penny.

Do I have a duty of care, as when I share unwillingly
the smelly minibus with our student interns? No:
he can sigh smoke in my face and bugger off out of my sight.

It’s his smoke, really, not actual tears, that causes my lacrymation.
Talking about suicide
doesn’t make students kill themselves, so I’ll write about it instead.


A grim turn out of nowhere? Dictated by Surrey's Windsor sonnet. 




Direct Rule: Windsor

Like a man filming his wife taking a selfie
of her silvered face in Windsor Park, this poem
is a record of its own discovering. Lusty? Very!
‘This is such a pleasant spot to stain with pleasure,

the picnic tables, the rustic spread, the chorus of wasps
around the bin,’ the Rake from Hell remarks, pulling
his vest back on but feeling well pissed off, though
sporting in my simile where he shelters like a spent penny.

Do I have a duty of care, as when I share the smelly
minibus with our student interns? No: he can sigh smoke
in my face and bugger off out of my sight with his cleaned up wife.

It’s just his smoke that causes my lachrymatory response.
A voice trapped in a poem can only cry in words. They say
talking about suicide doesn’t make students kill themselves. It does.

July 14th 2107



Direct Rule: Windsor

Like a man filming his wife taking a selfie
of her silvered face in Windsor Park, this poem
is a record of its own discovering. Lusty? Very!
‘This is such a pleasant spot to stain with pleasure:

the picnic tables, the rustic spread, the chorus of wasps
around the bin,’ the Rake from Hell remarks, pulling
his vest back on but feeling well pissed off, though
sporting in my simile. He shelters like a spent penny.
Image result for picnic table and women
Do I have a duty of care for him, as when I share the smelly
minibus with our student interns? No: he can sigh smoke
in my face and bugger off with his self-regarding wife.

It’s just his smoke that causes my lachrymatory response:
a voice trapped in a poem can only cry in words. They say
talking about suicide doesn’t make students kill themselves. It does.

July 14th 2107

 Got to keep an eye on the time this morning; I'm meeting Tim Allen at 12.30. But I'll keep updating this...



It’s just his smoke that causes my lachrymatory response:
a voice trapped in a poem can only cry in words. They say
talking about suicide doesn’t make students top themselves. (‘It does.’)

Maybe?

Yes, I think so? This one has really twisted out of shape. But I'd intended these poems from part two of my Surrey engagement (called 'Direct Rule'; sorry Clark I DO like that!) to be different. They are occasional and not translations from Petrarch. I used to talk all sorts of twaddle about Renaissance poets being impersonal. Wyatt and Surrey aren't. They are circumspect. The postie lady has just delivered a package. I think it's Culler's THE LYRIC. I wonder what he's got to say on this matter. Maybe open it, and take it with me to meet Tim.

I'm enjoying putting these poems up; I enjoy taking them down. (Like trousers at a dogging? Where did that metaphor come from? One of the Wyatt poems, and then it became a running theme.)

Signing off: it's 11.42...

Saturday morning: a few revisions and a tidying up, done on the hoof out in Liverpool...


Direct Rule: Windsor Walls

Like a man filming his wife taking a selfie
of her silvered face in sylvan Windsor Park, this poem
is a record of its own discovering. Lusty? Very!
‘This is such a pleasant spot to stain with pleasure:

the picnic tables, the rustic spread, the chorus of wasps
around the bin,’ the Rake from Hell remarks, pulling
his vest back on but feeling well pissed off, though
sporting in my similes. He shelters like a spent penny.

Do I have a duty of care for him, as when I share the smelly
minibus with our student interns? No: he can sigh smoke
in my face and bugger off with his self-regarding floozy.

It’s just his smoke that causes this lachrymatory response:
my voice trapped in a poem can only cry in words. They say
talking about suicide doesn’t make students top themselves. It does.

July 14th 2107




Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Robert Sheppard: Poems in Poetry at Sangam (edited by Ranjit Hoskote)

I am pleased to say I have been published in Ranjit Hoskote’s special poetry editorialship of the Indian online journal Poetry at Sangam. See here for the July 2017 edition with links to all contributors plus Ranjit’s Curatorial note.

In his note, Ranjit Hoskote says: ‘These marvellous writers re-affirm that poetry, at its best, is a protest against fossilised habits of thought, against the instrumentalisation of language by slogan, formula, cliché; against the amnesia, the fragmentation of attention, and the constriction of sensibility that are encouraged by the demagogues and hypnagogues who dominate public life. Sheppard, Robert Sheppard, Byrne, James Byrne, Srilata, K. Srilata, Edwards, Rhian Edwards, Miller, Alice Miller, and Sagar, Arun Sagar, reclaim memory, time and intensity of focus for us, their readers – and these are immensely precious gifts.’ I hope that I live up to that.(The links above take you to their contributions and biographies.)

I decided, partly because I’d checked the format of presentation to provide a selection of six discrete poems, but they do form a nice set, one I could imagine reading together one day. They are:

 

The Fugger of Wonderful Black Words

One of my Milton’s ‘overdubs’, dedicated to Tim Atkins, a sonnet. Another one here: ‘Avenge’, another sonnet, a contrafact on Milton’s ‘Avenge O Lord…’, featuring elements concerning the (female) Yasidi resistance to IS.

from Hap: Understudies of Thomas Wyatt’s Petrarch

This is fairly new, again sonnets, but from a sequence, recently been published in International Times here… They are what they say they are, but Wyatt appears in them as himself and as his modern analogue, a foreign office spy on a secret pre-Brexit mission…

Empty Diary 2015

Empty Diaries was a long sequence that ran through Twentieth Century Blues and into the current century: 2001-14. The first eight appeared in The Literateur. Find them here or here.  The final six appeared in a wonderful edition of Blackbox Manifold. See here. This 2015 one has a touch of the bonna nova about it.

Burnt Journal 1978

This is from a series of birthday poems, in this case for the Liverpool poet Eleanor Rees.

Full stop ahead

A response to the art of William Kentridge, a brilliant exhibition at Bluecoat in Liverpool.

Quennet for the Artist Pete Clarke


A piece that Pete used for the print that was a runner up for the Adrian Henri Prize a few years ago. See here and here and here for more images and links. 




Ranjit Hoskote, whom I met, as he suggests, in a pub in Liverpool (this one, about which he has waxed lyrical here) after his wonderful biennial talk-poetry reading, is a poet, cultural theorist and curator. His collections of poetry include Vanishing Acts: New and Selected Poems 1985-2005 (Penguin, 2006) and Die Ankunft der Vögel (Carl Hanser Verlag, 2006). His translation of the 14th-century Kashmiri mystic Lal Ded has been published as I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded (Penguin Classics, 2011). He is the editor of Dom Moraes: Selected Poems (Penguin Modern Classics, 2012), the first annotated critical edition of a major Anglophone Indian poet’s work. Hoskote’s poems have been published in many anthologies. Hoskote has curated or co-curated numerous exhibitions, including the 7th Gwangju Biennale (Korea, 2008); he curated India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale, under the title ‘Everyone Agrees: It’s About to Explode’ (2011).

New Poems by Ranjit Hoskote (from the July 2017 Issue itself)

Natural History
The Swimming Pool