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In Fiery Letters

Mark Ford: F.T. Prince, 8 February 2018

Reading F.T. Prince 
by Will May.
Liverpool, 256 pp., £75, December 2016, 978 1 78138 333 9
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... Although​ during his lifetime F.T. Prince (1912-2003) acquired a number of illustrious admirers – including those poetic polar opposites, Geoffrey Hill and John Ashbery – his poetry is still not widely known. ‘Soldiers Bathing’, it’s true, is likely to feature in any anthology or critical account of the poetry of the Second World War, and assiduous scholars of both Hill and Ashbery have explored Prince’s possible influences on their early work ...

Jihad

James Wood, 5 August 1993

TheNew Poetry 
edited by Michael Hulse, David Kennedy and David Morley.
Bloodaxe, 352 pp., £25, May 1993, 1 85224 244 2
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Who Whispered Near Me 
by Killarney Clary.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, February 1993, 1 85224 149 7
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Sunset Grill 
by Anne Rouse.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, March 1993, 1 85224 219 1
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Half Moon Bay 
by Paul Mills.
Carcanet, 95 pp., £6.95, February 1993, 9781857540000
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Shoah 
by Harry Smart.
Faber, 74 pp., £5.99, April 1993, 0 571 16793 4
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The Autonomous Region 
by Kathleen Jamie.
Bloodaxe, 79 pp., £7.95, March 1993, 9781852241735
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Collected Poems 
by F.T. Prince.
Carcanet, 319 pp., £25, March 1993, 1 85754 030 1
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Stirring Stuff 
by Selwyn Pritchard.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 145 pp., £8.99, April 1993, 9781856193085
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News from the Brighton Front 
by Nicki Jackowska.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 86 pp., £7.99, April 1993, 1 85619 306 3
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Translations from the Natural World 
by Les Murray.
Carcanet, 67 pp., £6.95, March 1993, 1 85754 005 0
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... Knowing and Judging’. Poetry, he wrote, is ‘a rite of worship or homage, and to be fit homage, this rite must be beautiful ... it is from the sacred encounters of his imagination that a poet’s impulse to write a poem arises.’ The Elizabeth Bishop who likened knowledge to water, ‘dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free’, would probably ...

Catacomb Graffiti

Clive James, 20 December 1979

Poems and Journeys 
by Charles Johnston.
Bodley Head, 97 pp., £3.90
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Eugene Onegin 
by Alexander Pushkin, translated by Charles Johnston.
Penguin Classics, 238 pp., £1.50
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... traditionally eat bitter bread, but the narrator is more concerned to reflect than to rail against fate. The poem has something of Ovid’s sadness in the Epistolae ex ponto, except that Johnston is not being sorry just for himself. He is bent on understanding misunderstanding – the tragedy of incomprehension which has brought Japan to war against the ...

Poor Toms

Karl Miller, 3 September 1987

Chatterton 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 234 pp., £10.95, September 1987, 0 241 12348 8
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... dies the early death of romance – en poète, as the poet Burns put it with reference to his own fate – and his end is enveloped in the consequences of his supposing that he has lit upon some Chatterton manuscripts. Charles is touchingly done – a frail unpublished poet kept going by his wife and son (the wife is called Vivien, presumably by ...

Merry Kicks

Mark Ford: The Madness of Marinetti, 20 May 2004

Selected Poems and Related Prose 
by F.T. Marinetti, translated by Elizabeth Napier and Barbara Studholme.
Yale, 250 pp., £35, January 2003, 0 300 04103 9
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... the racer’s stride, the mortal leap, the punch and the slap.’ It was Alfred Jarry, the prince of iconoclasts, who first suggested to Marinetti how much a well-aimed punch or slap could achieve. His 1896 play Ubu Roi, with its famous opening neologism – ‘Merdre’ – had caused the kind of scandal that long poems about the sea and the ...

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