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Medium 9781847770684

Act of the Imagination

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Act of the Imagination

Surely an Act of the Imagination

Helps more than one of Faith

When a doubt brushes us. We need strong passion

To summon miracles. Life after death,

Bread turning into flesh and blood from wine,

I need to cast around

And find an image for the most divine

Concepts. My mind must move on holy ground,

And then the hardest creed – the rising from

Death when Christ indeed

Bled finally – ideas cannot come

As barren notions. Yes, I always need

Herbert’s sonnet ‘Prayer’ say, or that great

Giotto painting for

My heart to leap to God. I want to meet

Him in my own poems, God as metaphor

And rising up. I watch a lucid sky

And see a silver cloud

And Christ’s behind it; this is part of faith,

Hear the Great Hours sung and let faith be loud

With the best imagining we have.

This is how I approach

My God-made-Man. Thus I learn to love

And yes, like Thomas, know Christ through a touch.

For Paul Klee

Such a fastidious colourist, this man,

The painter who truly knew

School of movement. All his work began

And ended where imagination’s glow

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Medium 9781857542882

Clare's Will and Related Observations

Clare, John Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF


In the name of God amen, I John Clare of the Parish of Helps tone in the County of Northampton do make this my last Will and


I give to my Sister Sophia Kettle 1 the Sum of £10, and leave the Sum of 4 shillings a week to my Parents both out of the Copy right of my works if in case they make as much money in interest as here specified if not the sum that they shall make is to be applied as above and if they make more the overplus goes to my childern the £16 interest from the 4 per Cents is to be paid to my family as usual and the principal divided amongst the

Childern at the youngests coming of age tho my wife is to have the benefit of the interest not only to bring up the childern but so long as she continues unmarried all My Books are to be published on the origional terms of half profits to my family

I wish Taylor and Hessey to be the Publishers and I further wish that my friend John Taylor shoud be the Editor of my Remains and that all my writings be submitted to him he was one of the first friends I met and I wish to leave him one of the last

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Medium 9781847770684

The Ark

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847778512

East Moors

Clarke, Gillian Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

At the end of a bitter April

the cherries flower at last in Penylan.

We notice the white trees and the flash

of sea with two blue islands beyond

the city, where the steelworks used to smoke.

I live in the house I was born in,

am accustomed to the sudden glow

of flame in the night sky, the dark sound

of something heavy dropped, miles off,

the smell of sulphur almost natural.

In Roath and Rumney now, washing strung

down the narrow gardens will stay clean.

Lethargy settles in front rooms and wives

have lined up little jobs for men to do.

A few men stay to see it through. Theirs

the bitterest time as rolling mills

make rubble. Demolition gangs

erase skylines whose hieroglyphs

recorded all our stories.

I am reminded of that Sunday

years ago when we brought the children

to watch two water cooling towers

blown up, recall the appalling void

in the sunlight, like a death.

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Medium 9781847770998

Prayer to My Mother

John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

I Work All Day…

I work all day, monk-like, and at night prowl, street-tom, looking for love… I shall move to the Church that I be made a saint.

I really do respond to spoof mildly. I watch the lynch-staff with a public eye.

I observe myself massacred with the cool nerve of a scientist. I seem to feel hate: instead, I write poems full of proper love.

I study treachery as a fatal phenomenon, like I was not its object.

I pity the young fascists and the old; but I think they are forms of the awfullest evil. I fight with only the violence of reason.

Passive, like an all-seeing bird, sky-beating, a conscience that does not forgive.

Prayer to My Mother

Hard to say with a son’s words what, at heart, I look like so little.

You are the one in the world that knows my heart, what it always held, before all other love.

So I have to tell you what is awful to know: my pain was born in your loving-kindness.

I can’t replace you. So the life you gave me is damned with loneliness.

I don’t want to be alone. I have an endless hunger for love, love of soulless bodies.

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Medium 9781574412420


Richard Carr University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781847779731


Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

Wreathe no more lilies in my hair,

For I am dying, Sister sweet:

Or, if you will for the last time

     Indeed, why make me fair

     Once for my winding sheet.

Pluck no more roses for my breast,

For I like them fade in my prime:

Or, if you will, why pluck them still,

     That they may share my rest

     Once more for the last time.

Weep not for me when I am gone,

Dear tender one, but hope and smile:

Or, if you cannot choose but weep,

     A little while weep on,

     Only a little while.

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Medium 9781847770974

49 home again

Gallas, John Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781574412802


Amy M. Clark University of North Texas Press PDF


My seatmate on the late-night flight could have been my father. I held a biography, but he wanted to talk.

The pages closed around my finger on my spot, and as we inclined into the sky, we went backwards in his life, beginning with five hours before, the funeral for his only brother, a forgotten necktie in his haste to catch this plane the other way just yesterday, his wife at home caring for a yellow Lab she’d found along the road by the olive grove, and the pretty places we had visited—

Ireland for me, Germany for him— a village where he served his draft during the Korean War, and would like to see again to show his wife how lucky he had been. He talked to me and so we held his only brother’s death at bay.

I turned off my reading light, remembering another veteran

I met in a pine forest years ago who helped me put my tent up in the wind. What was I thinking camping there alone? I was grateful he kept watch across the way and served coffee in a blue tin cup.

Like the makeshift shelter of a tent, a plane is brought down, but as we folded to the ground,

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Medium 9781847778512


Clarke, Gillian Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

You know the hay’s in

when gates hang slack

in the lanes. These hot nights

the fallen fields lie open

under the moon’s clean sheets.

The homebound road is

sweet with the liquors

of the grasses, air

green with the pastels

of stirred hayfields.

Down at Fron Felen

in the loaded barn

new bales displace

stale darknesses. Breathe.

Remember finding

first kittens, first love

in the scratch of the hay,

our sandals filled with seeds.

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Medium 9781847770684

Before the Interview (Surprise), c.1963–66 (UD, 186/1/18)

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Before the Interview (Surprise)

The seeming cruelty, the chair or couch,

The accusations from the godlike man,

The terror of believing that he can

Destroy you utterly, kill at a touch –

This the experience that still goes on

No mystery, he says, no drugs will do

What you must do yourself. You hate him more

And fear him more, each time you are asked for

He can, you think, do so much harm to you.

You weep in terror half the night before

You have to climb those stairs, a yellow sheet

Shaking within your hand; and in your mind

You dare not think what meanings he will find

How he will speak, what he will make you say.

You hate all this, you try to run away.

Then why one morning, when you find him ill

Do you not think ‘Thank God, I too can kill’?

Instead, compassion quite gets in the way.

I do not understand, am baffled still.

Breakfast in a Mental Hospital

I cannot bear these faces any more,

I cannot stand the silences that greet

Me as I enter, pulling to the door

No one is bright and if they are, I hate

Them for their noise and yet, I try to hold

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Medium 9781574412420


Richard Carr University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781847770684

For a Gentle Friend

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Of all pretence. Love showed its proper size,

Small circumstances drifted quietly off.

Not to mourn can be a loss. We prize

A perfect grief, an almost selfless love

And wide, defenceless eyes.

Words about Grief

Grief can return without a warning. It’s

Seldom cemeteries

Or news of other deaths that my grief fits

But places of great beauty where I was,

However briefly, happy with the one

I loved who died. I know

Many feel happier when again they’ve gone

To such a place with grief. One thing I do

Know is that after years grief brings a pang

As terrible almost

As that first rending. Death, where love’s been strong,

Can always make you feel entirely lost

Or so it does with me. Time does not heal,

It makes a half-stitched scar

That can be broken and again you feel

Grief as total as in its first hour.

For a Gentle Friend

I have come to where the deep words are

Spoken with care. There is no more to hide.

I toss away the cold stance of my fear

And move O far, far out to be beside

One who owns all language in extremes

Of death. We watch the coming-in now tide.

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Medium 9781847770684

Mary Speaks

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847779731


Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

    Winter is cold-hearted,

    Spring is yea and nay,

Autumn is a weathercock

       Blown every way.

    Summer days for me

When every leaf is on its tree;

    When Robin’s not a beggar,

    And Jenny Wren’s a bride,

And larks hang singing, singing, singing,

    Over the wheat-fields wide,

    And anchored lilies ride,

    And the pendulum spider

    Swings from side to side.

And blue-black beetles transact business,

    And gnats fly in a host,

And furry caterpillars hasten

    That no time be lost,

    And moths grow fat and thrive,

    And ladybirds arrive.

   Before green apples blush,

   Before green nuts embrown,

   Why one day in the country

   Is worth a month in town;

   Is worth a day and a year

Of the dusty, musty, lag-last fashion

   That days drone elsewhere.

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