2621 Chapters
Medium 9781847770684

Night Power

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

But also an old exercise of love,

Shaped partly of a spirit quick to take

Colour from climate. When it is daybreak

The moment’s clarity will sunder and

I’ll take the sun’s white wafer on my hand.

Night Moment

One cedar tree, one oak, one sycamore

Turn in a little sigh

Of wind. This is the day’s evasive hour,

For now the quick-change sky

Is restive, paling, sinking, letting go,

Her anchor pulls away.

Moment by moment all the trees will show

A branch of stars to stay

Until the morning. Under those stars sleep

Or at least lie peacefully.

All bird-calls have just stopped. Our world dreams deep

And for ten hours is free.

Night Power

Am I alone now as the wind comes up

Sweeping huge stretches of the darkened sky,

Threading the stars, enfolding others’ sleep?

I am yet am not. In this room that’s high

Above a formal garden far away

From crowds and noise, I am the lonely cry

Of owls who tell the hours. I rule the day

As my mind reaches for before-dawn peace

And there is reason in the words I say

Or write. How warm it is. The bluff winds sing

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Medium 9781847770684

A Sky in Childhood

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

A Sky in Childhood

No Sacrament thereafter,

No blaze of blue in a Southern sky,

No Italy of the heart

Would ever gainsay or sunder that good evening

I wandered in a garden of evergreens.

Near Summer it must have been

And the moon had squandered her light or the stars had doubled

Each other, so there was no Great Bear any more,

No Milky Way,

But only diamonds on receding velvet,

Lights twinkling, showing me uncounted facets

And a sense in me of awe and wonder I

Had not grown up into or marred but was,

As it seems now, ready there for the sky to find me,

There, had I known it, glad to find myself

And awe overtaking me that only later

Looked back upon would be untarnished marvel

Over a Summer night, over my own ten years.


We escaped ourselves by escaping into each other

And even at the time I was reminded of walking on high cliffs

Facing Lundy when I was twelve or thirteen.

The sea below elevated me,

I smelt the pure drench of salt,

The iodine rock-pools

And where I walked ripe hedge-rows

Blew their blackberry scent at me.

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An Education

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Kept, in the resignation of old men –

This spirit, this power, this holder together of space

Is about, is aware, is working in your breathing.

But most he is the need that shows in hunger

And in the tears shed in the lonely fastness.

And in sorrow after anger.

An Education

How rooted this was in

Concrete matters, purposes of time

And nightly circumstance.

If this was visionary, then it was

Not won and not expected.

I’d rather see it as a part of learning

And none of it prepared.

At ten years old, I walked out to the night

In an Oxford suburb not yet spoilt

By hurried building. Fields grew at my back,

And in the evergreens of a front garden

I moved without the fear of shadows or

Any interruption. Then I stared

Up at a sky surely spawning stars

Or was the moon releasing one by one

Her young? Or was the firmament so crammed

With precious stones it gave a few away?

I do not know but what I still store in

The corner of a memory of clutter

Of intellectual bric-à-brac, is this –

The memory of elation, changing too,

Being elevated into wonder

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Medium 9781857543971


Ford, Ford Madox Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub


The coming of Conrad into my life forced my nose hard down again on the grindstone of writing. At Bonnington and the Pent I had dug and hedged and thatched. When my oncle de l’Amerique had performed as American uncles should I added golf to my occupations. I became in a small way very proficient in that game which was then little played in England. My cousin, George Wilkes of Hythe had just started a links there. The Pent was five miles from that Cinque Port. I played there a good deal with Dr Macnamara the Liberal Minister for Education and with Charles Masterman with whom I was afterwards very intimate.

I made a great many notes for a life of Henry VIII which I never published and for my history of the Cinque Ports which I did publish in 1903. I wrote also some verse. I suppose I became tired of a life of leisure and golf and went to Limpsfield to be reformed by Mr Edward Garnett and his friends. Limpsfield however disgusted me with the life of the Intelligentsia as lived in the London suburbs. So back I went to the Pent. I daresay I should have become finally a country-gentleman-historian. But a curious coincidence prevented that. I had got together all my material for the life of Henry VIII and had made a synopsis of the chapters and even a list of the illustrations. And I had chosen my publishers. The book was to be heavily illustrated with reproductions of Holbein and the like. There was only one publisher in London then for finely illustrated books. That was the house of Virtue. I went up to London with my synopsis and specimen reproductions. I saw one of the partners of the firm and laid my plan before him. He said:

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Medium 9781847770684

Fragment for the Dark

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF


I am the haunted house whose doors are locked,

I am the echo of a sickening cry,

I am the ghost by which a child was shocked,

I am the way you die.

I am the wound which never ceases bleeding,

I am the sun who blinds you with its eye,

I am the garden no one thought of weeding,

I am the way you die.

Try to escape – I’ll find you anywhere,

Attempt to tame me – do not even try,

Use your breath for a final whispered prayer

For when I come you die.

Fragment for the Dark

Let it not come near me, let it not

Fold round or over me. One weak hand

Clutches a foot of air, asks the brisk buds

To suffer grey winds, spear through

Fog I feel in me. Give me the magic

To see grounded starlings, their polish

As this threat of all-day night. Mind, mind

In me, make thoughts candles to light me

Out of the furthest reach of possible nights.

Lantern me, stars, if I look up through wet hands,

Show assurance in blurred shining. I have

Put every light in the house on.

May their filaments last till true morning.


Charted as dangerous that night is now

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