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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Robert Sheppard: Four Poems in 'English'

I have four poems in English, the magazine of the English Association (of which I am a Fellow). The introduction to this issue, Volume 64, 244, Spring 2015, a special one, 'Chaucer Reconsidered', includes the following: ‘Chaucer was an innovative poet who often considered the nature of poetry within his writing. This issue contains new work by Robert Sheppard, Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Edge Hill University. Sheppard has been central to innovative poetry in the UK, and its academic reception. His four poems in this issue probe relationships between perception and the fragmentary world of the poem, inviting the reader to remake experience: “Every poem is a new beginning,/ but then so are you”,’ the quote being for ‘Poem’ for poet Marianne Morris (on the ocassion of her PhD). I am mindful of the need to enjoy the applause but never to completely believe it, as a wise actor (who?) once said.

The other poems are for poet Scott Thurston, painter and print-maker Pete Clarke (see three prints which contain phrases from the poem here) and jazz impressario Ian Perry. The latter poem ends with the lines: ‘Now/ let’s watch Serge and Jane swerving along the Elysée’. Let’s: