I did say earlier in the post that it was a 'crude diagram'. Now I certainly
agree that there are poets who make a difference over here, what I was
thinking of more was the tenor of the magazines. Pastoral bubbles away
happily in its mental swamp there. One could re-draw my 'diagram' in several
I'm not quite sure about the relevance of SALT to a consideration of poetry
in England, it's a fine list but I don't see it as being 'English', the only
English-based poets on it are Wilkinson and Duncan, are they not?
What I do find encouraging is the new editorial policy of Poetry Review,
it's early days yet, only the second issue under the new regime, but I've
certainly found it stimulating.
All the Best
A Chide's Alphabet
Painting Without Numbers
----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas Barbour" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, December 28, 2002 4:51 PM
Subject: Re: A Chide's Alphabet
Surely you'll admit to making a wee bit of an overstatement here"
> Now I speak from England which has the longest
>established industrialised population in the world yet you'd be forgiven
>from our poetry for imagining that everyone here lived in twee little Lord
>of the Rings style hamlets. We need some honesty in poetry, and I find it
>far in the asking.
That question of honesty is a tough one, I admit, but although I don't read
a lot of British poetry, I'd say that different kinds of it do appear. Some
of the feminist writing I've seen (& I admit again it's not a lot), strikes
a chord, & certainly there's some post-industrial, not to mention
post-modern, work in the smaller presses, under the radar still, it seems,
but there, in such writers a Raworth (who's been around forever), Douglas
Oliver back when, Tony Lopez, etc. And even some of the apparently old
fashioned poems, when they come from a master like Thomas A Clark, are much
more than they seem. And one of our own (is he still here?), Matthew
Francis, is definitely not twee. I won't cross the irish sea, but Randolph
knows there's something happening outside of the famous one, & his own new
book from SALT is a sign too.
But varieties of 'honesty' perhaps?
Department of English
University of Alberta
Edmonton Alberta Canada T6G 2E5
(h)  436 3320 (b)  492 0521
There's that boat again
through winter trees
look at it
look at it
a perfect half-moon