I have had another poem published in International Times. It tickles me every time that I am published in this online continuation of such an important organ of the political and aesthetic underground of the 1960s. If you don’t know it, its combination of archive material and new items (such as mine) is impressive. Thanks, as ever, to poetry editor Rupert Loydell.
My poem is another of my transpositions of Shelley's sonnets that will appear in British Standards singly between the longer sections. There is a hub post (on which I detail the publication of these inter-sequence poems) here: https://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2020/09/my-occasional-transposition-of-shelley.html
This poem recalls seeing a local leader from Birmingham saying her (black and Asian) constituents would not respond well to seeing British troops helping out in vaccine centres. The white guests (this was Newsnight) couldn't believe it. As often, these poems have proved prophetic.
It’s sometimes a good thing to be able to demonstrate the intuitive way in which the ‘original’ poems are transposed (I have long given up describing the process as ‘translation’), which can only be done by providing, in this case, the Shelley poem, and my ‘version’. Here it is:
This is a video of me reading the poem the day I wrote it. (The text may differ from the published one.)
Gerard Manley Hopkins got the same IT treatment, here: https://internationaltimes.it/
One of my previous appearances in IT was a poem I had transposed from the Earl of Surrey. The transposition is again a political one; this time it was a poem about Trump. And again the Surrey poem is displayed next to the Sheppard version:
All of these ‘versions’ and ‘transpositions’ and ‘unthreadings’ etc., are part of a larger three volume project called ‘The English Strain’, and some previous poems on IT (without ‘originals’) have come from other parts of the project. Here are links (and links to links) of other poems, chiefly from Book Two, Bad Idea, versions of Michael Drayton’s renaissance sonnets. See here: https://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2019/12/robert-sheppard-two-more-poems-from-bad.html
two comprehensive posts to check out, the first that looks at Book One, The
English Strain here
(written after I’d completed it but before it found its title!).
There’s another post on Book Two, Bad Idea here . (The final part of Bad Idea is slightly different; called ‘Idea’s Mirror’; that’s described here: https://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2019/12/my-last-ideas-mirror-post-election-poem.html ).
I am delighted to say that Book One, The English Strain is available from Shearsman; see here:
I am also delighted to say that Book Two, Bad Idea is available from Knives Forks and Spoons, so you may buy it HERE and NOW: https://www.knivesforksandspoonspress.co.uk/product-page/bad-idea-by-robert-sheppard-102-pages
Here is the Shelleyean poetics of the THIRD book, British Standards, here; http://nclacommunity.org/newdefences/2021/07/16/shifting-an-imaginary-poetics-in-anticipation/