Finding poems you know you'll love

By Jessica Durston - 23 December 2021

Arts and Culture
  • Maurice Spillane

    Maurice Spillane

A monthly column from Maurice Spillane of Poetry Swindon.

I’ve been following and recommending the www.thehighwindowpress.com for some time. The editor, David Cooke, is based in Swindon and his parents come from the West of Ireland. Now that’s a good pedigree!

Add to that, he’s a cracking poet, translator and reviewer. His regular emails have introduced me to new poets, including many in translation which, in my view, adds a dimension, a twist and a surprise to the way we see poetry. If you’re looking for a New Year treat for yourself or anyone who likes poetry, look no further than adding your email to David’s list.

I love this first stanza from David’s poem “Shadow Boxing.”

 

The closest my dad ever got to poetry

was when he savoured some word

like pugilist, or the tip-toe springiness

he sensed in bob and weave,

his unalloyed delight in the flytings

and eyeball to eyeball hype

that went with big fight weigh-ins.

 

Introduce me to a poet and if I like the work I’m hooked. In the Winter Edition of High Windows, I enjoyed an interview with the American poet, Tess Taylor, and that sent me off reading her work again. Here’s the first stanza of a poem I really enjoy, “Time on Earth” and appropriate as we look up the amazing carpet of stars on dark evenings:

 

Nights under these stars, you

try to identify old constellations.

Cassiopeia, Andromeda, the mythic forms—

you half forget their stories.

But on warm nights, seeing them,

your throat also fills with shapes of hymns

someone’s holdfast tunes

to which your words are also blurred or blurring.

 

For a good night out, tickets are available now for Henry Normal at The Pound Arts Centre, Corsham, 24-28 February.

www.mauricespillane.com

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