various ragged fringes
was published by Turpin (Martin Thom) from (an excellent address) Folly
House, Folly Bridge, Oxford, in an edition of 300, in 1975. It was
printed from paper plates by Tony Ward, then at the Arvon Press, Lumb
What is posted here is an imitation of the original typed plates*. Some typos have been corrected; others may have been introduced. Punctuating points between certain stanzas, within certain poems have (on a whim) been dropped. The title of the first poem has been changed from OS SH277421 to its referent Carreg Ddu (Black Rock).
The original pamphlet contained a final page called some little notes. These have been excised, though I'll here save a quote relevant to tin silver/ copper green, from Richard Carew, Survey of Cornwall (1602), which I found in Hamilton Jenkin's The Cornish Miner:
"Why seeke we in corners for pettie commodities, when as the onely mynerall of Cornish Tynne openeth so large a field to the Countries benefit?....and with such plentie thereof hath God stuffed the bowels of this little Angle, that it overfloweth England, watereth Christendome, and is derived to a greater part of the world besides."
The cover drawing (unacknowledged) was by a Mr Peter Petherick, then of Macclesfield.
Oh, and the line suppressed in the text but at last in the notes was "that someone was my child".
* in one section at least, some gremlin, doubtless born of my ignorance, has intervened in the process of typing and uploading, and scattered the lineation in new ways. I may one day try to 'correct' this.
IMMEDIATE MUST BE A MIRACLE was
self-published from Foster Clough in an edition of 150, with the
author's name given as Michael Surname, in 1977. It was printed by Tony
Ward. It carried this dedication:
This book is for
The Empty Classes
of the Cambridge School of Poetry.
It carried the following notes:
"IMMEDIATE MUST BE A MIRACLE was written in the course of a night during the week of the Cambridge Poetry Festival 1977, and typed up, originally, the following morning - Tuesday, April 19th, and not, as the text asserts, Tuesday April 20th.
Fielding Dawson, it turned out, was downstairs in the kitchen all the while.
Three Flowers are artificial fabrications felt in the aftermath of the aforementioned festival."
A tale about the writing of this poem can be found in the note to No Bloody Matter (43/42) in the Notes to Continual Song (Pt 2).
A typo has been corrected, others may have been introduced. Among the Three Flowers, Denise is Denise Riley. Brian Stannion is, or was, so far as I know, not a poet.
One Magpie was published in the anthology for John Riley
(Grosseteste 1979). It was written during the second week after John's
murder, and thus, probably, before Tim Longville's invitations to
contribute. It was a fine blue week of weather, and I was pointing a
farmhouse at Heptonstall Slack. There was this one magpie in a
nigh-bare tree, croaking all week.
The poem was rewritten, possibly mangled, and included in A Whole Bauble. Here I revert to the original.
And here's an odd story. The funeral, in Leeds, was delayed for some weeks before the police released the body. We were all in the cemetery, by the hole of the grave, with the coffin on the ground. Then my attention was taken by a bird in the high bare trees. It was a magpie, and I was astonished, staggered, amazed as it flew in among us, touched with its foot upon the coffin, and flew off. I stifled my perturbation: crazy and unseemly to try to explain to anyone, but it was true.
In those days I was more open to superstition. Now, it's just what happened. I don't expect to see the like again.
Rover Where You Go/ I Cannot Follow was published in figs: number one (Tony Baker); n.d. but certainly later 1970s. It was rewritten and probably garbled for A Whole Bauble.
Through the mid-1970s I'd been 'transforming' stories from The Mabinogion. Here I tried to do the same thing with The New Testament, St. John's Gospel, so tales of Jesus Christ are in there somewhere.
I thought I could read before I went to infants' school. Teacher showed me a card with a dog on it, and some words. To my embarrassment, I got the second word wrong.
Gwydion was one of three parts covering, transforming, the fourth branch of the Mabinogion (Math ap Mathonwy). It was published in Not Poetry (ed. Peter Hodgkiss) in Summer 1980. 4th December 2008: In transcribing it I changed no words but altered lineation and punctuation, to make it look even more Not Poetry.
Son of the Wave. I thought of renaming The Juveniliad: The Rejuveniliad, since this piece has been reworked this year (2009). It was called The Birth of Dylan, and published in a magazine called A Vision Very Like Reality, ed. Totton, Patterson & Ackroyd on, I think, 1976, and then rewritten for A Whole Bauble
in 1994, where, I believe, I garbled it badly. But that's now my only
source for the text. I've tried to bring it back to how I think it was,
inevitably adding new details, and, this time, setting it as
quasi-prose. Again it's from The Fourth Branch, but rather more
distantly than Gwydion.