3060 Chapters
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9781847770684

Mary Speaks

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781574415643


Stefanie Wortman University of Northern Texas PDF
Medium 9781847770998

My Skin is Full of Butterflies

John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781857549867

The Lineage of Bees

Clarke, Gillian Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

The Lineage of Bees


‘October is marigold’, as Ted Hughes reminds us, ‘and yet’, he continues:

A glass half full of wine left out

To the dark heaven all night, by dawn

Has dreamed a premonition

Of ice across its eye1

I don’t need the book. I have the poem by heart. I’ve kept it somewhere deep in memory since I first read The Hawk in the Rain in

1957 when I was young and ready to have my mind blown by poetry. Out there in the garden, the fields and the far hills I can see it, ‘Mari-gold’, all the red-golds in the spectrum with a tinge of Mary-blue like the plumage of pheasants shot and hung, the colour of deciduous decay, hallowed and haloed by the word, chilled by forewarning.

Poetry is the truth. It can warn, and foretell. ‘And now it is about to start’, says Hughes, fifty years before we took seriously the prospect of global warming, and, of imagining another Ice Age,

‘the reunion of Mammoth and Sabre-tooth’. In the last line his words squeeze and freeze the heart before letting it go.

A poem is the only work of art you can have for nothing. Read it, memorise it, copy it into your notebook, and it’s yours. It enters

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Medium 9781847770974

1 Molecule leaves home

Gallas, John Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684


Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770998

Old Man’s Summer Longing

John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

And shadow-freed and evening-lit,

I light on happiness – a breath blown by that whispers not ‘This is all Nothing.’

The valley shades with lights where houses are, and dark tops round me, but the night wind does not say ‘Death.’

I walk the graveyard, end to end, and all I see is last-lit flowers, and nothing else seems near to me.

Water burbles between dim turning hazel bushes, and childlike I listen and hear no whisper, ‘What’s the point.’

And quick, clothes off, I jump in, and when I look long up the risen moon is watching my splash.

Half standing in this cold cold swirl

I hurl an even stone way out to land: and stand in moonlight.

And the shadow lies long along the moon-bright summer land: this man, who dully dreams aback this cushion by the wall.

Who sits so dully sad, half up, half down, and glares at morning’s striking light and knows that something watches, waits for us.

The man maddened by the cross March wind, the man that never gets to sleep at night, black hands throttled round his heart.

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Medium 9781847770974

5 I fink

Gallas, John Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

A Special Sound, May, 1981 (WUL, 11)

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Snatches of Vivaldi, memories

Turned into now, all Italy, no less.

A Prepared Elegy

An elegy upon a golden day,

I would prepare, so that when someone dies

And I am dumb with grief, these words will say

That life is full only because it stays

So brief a time. Words pray

Whenever they are self-forgetting or

Chosen to tell truth with. I have known grief

And had no words. Simply I heard a door

Closed near at hand. Through it half my life

Now I stand before

Primroses, daffodils, all raising to light

Their heads. The sun goes wandering today,

It is hard to credit there is night

This is a time for everyone to play

Near such a buoyant sight.

Life, the Spring power of it will celebrate

What has been rich for some dead friend. Today

They are alive. I shall not be too late

With these rapt words. Perhaps they’ll sing for me

Where my death lies in wait.

A Special Sound

What a chuckle and fret of birds

What a constant argument in trees and hedges,

Chaffinch, starling, sparrow, blue-tit, all

Discourse and, above them all,

Now and then the deceiving sweet high notes

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Medium 9781847770974

105 DS Baigent and the bloody phone

Gallas, John Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781885635273


Jack Christian Center for Literary Publishing ePub

Although there aren’t rules you are against them.
You bring curfew and we break it. You bring contraband
and strange light marks the sky, again.
Once, we were locked in the stem of a flower
that bloomed only at night. I was an owl who swooped low
before the car. You were the song you hummed.
We dressed in tassels and in leather. You made a map
from a barbed wire. You put on a shoe over a shoe over a shoe
and then you were a river, and then you were a bend.

at the end we would begin again
because there are instances wherein a notch

is a wide-mile and a best-self

and could run-on-over or be folded in a backseat

then covered in tied flies

and later be a bowl but be for you

who resemble a spot of sun and also a motion

whose motion is over-there

like to the victor go the things we jinx by talking about

and then they happen anyway

out where we pushed all the weeds down
and where the weather approaches aesthetic necessity

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Medium 9781847772442


Stallworthy, Jon Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

The Owl’s Request

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

The Owl’s Request

Do not be frightened of me.

I am a night-time creature. When the earth is still,

When trees are shadows of shadows,

When only the moon and its attendant stars

Enlarge the night, when the smallest sound is shrill

And may wake you up and frighten you,

I am about with my friendly ‘Tu-whit, tu whoo’.

My face is kindly but also mysterious.

People call me wise.

Perhaps they do so because I sometimes close my eyes

And seem to be thinking.

The way I think is not like yours. I need

No thick philosopher’s book;

I can tell the truth of the world with a look

But I do not speak about

What I see there. Think of me then

As the certainty in your wandering nights.

I can soothe men

And will snatch you out of your doubt,

Bear you away to the stars and moon

And to sleep and dawn. So lie

And listen to my lullaby.

The Cuckoo’s Speech

What a very bad example I set

But never mind.

I have the best of all worlds. I get

Applause and kind

Words from all when they hear the sound

Of me. Winter’s behind

And I prove Spring’s arrived. Forget the way

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Medium 9781847770684

The Substitute

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Yet when he comes will then unlearn it all,

Find thought within her mind and fact in him

At variance, almost inimical,

And as peacemaker will exile the dream,

Escape her own mind and acknowledging

This love as strange enact a truer pledging.


A hard tin bird was my lover

Fluttering with every breeze

To north and west would hover

In fierce extremities

But I would never find

Him quietly in the south

Or in the warmest east

And never near my mouth

And never on my breast.

A hard bird swinging high

Glinting with gold and sun

Aloft swung in the sky

Ready to run

O would I were that sun

He swings to with desire

Could see my love’s gold eye

And feel his fire.

The Substitute

He rehearsed then with an understudy

(Love he had cast not ready to play the part

Nor knowing yet disturbance in the heart).

Nearly indifferent he explored the body

Of one untutored, ready to be hurt,

Absolute, being unpractised in the role.

She took the lesson wholly in the school

Of his rehearsal, learnt it thoroughly,

Played it entire while his mind still was full

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Medium 9781847770684

The Limits of Love

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

The First Time

Our love is not the same as others’. We

Resent comparison for there was no love

Before we met. This makes us whole and free.

None has moved before the way we move

And never will. Our letters speak of things

New to the world. All’s a discovery

For us. We find a new place and it sings

Up to the stars with our own melody.

Must we wait until love’s lived with and

Domesticated, to find out we’re wrong?

Or is it worse when we don’t understand

Each others moods and thoughts, when every song

Dies with its echo? Now we’re hand in hand

Within our world where others don’t belong.

The Limits of Love


‘I know what you feel,’ we glibly say

And then continue ‘I know what you think,’

And we speak of ourselves. We should obey

The courtesy of things. Through one small chink

Or key-hole we may glimpse a little of

Another’s suffering but that is all.

Even when we murmur, ‘O I love

You’ our words are really but a personal call.

In truth we are surprised at likenesses

And say with honesty, ‘Just now I thought

Something of what you mean,’ and then we bless

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