Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 07 July 2014

  • F.G.

    And on the plasma screen these words appear:
    If I am asked to represent World’s End,
    I want to make this absolutely clear,
    my one priority will be to spend
    more money on my home
    … No, no, that’s wrong.
    It’s true, but not what politicians say
    in my time or in yours. Mine was a long
    brown nosing into power, but I made my way
    from Clerk of the Signet (you may well ask)
    to Treasurer of the Navy, until – a piece of luck –
    the Stuarts gave me Warwick Castle. Then Chancellor,
    some time to write, and finally Lord Brooke.
    The words, of course, that matter in the end
    are Greville was Sir Philip Sidney’s friend.

    by John Greening


    The most recent episode of the Poetry Centre podcast is now available via the website and on iTunes. This release features a critical-creative dialogue between Terri Mullholland and Siân Thomas about issues raised by Siân’s poem ‘The Abandoned House’, a work inspired by a derelict building in The Weald, East Sussex.


    'F.G.’ is copyright © John Greening, 2013. It is reprinted from Knot (Worple Press, 2013) by permission of Worple Press.

    Notes from Worple Press:

    Born in Chiswick in 1954, John Greening has lived in Upper Egypt, New Jersey, Mannheim, Arbroath but chiefly in Huntingdonshire, where he teaches. He has published more than a dozen collections (including Hunts, Poems 1979-2009) and several critical studies – of Yeats, Ted Hughes, Hardy, Edward Thomas, First World War Poets and the Elizabethans. His most recent book is a guide to the art: Poetry Masterclass. A regular reviewer with the TLS and a judge for the Eric Gregory Awards, Greening has received the Bridport Prize, the TLS Centenary Prize and a Cholmondeley Award for his poetry. Based on the design of a seventeenth-century knot garden, Knot makes consort music with the poets of Elizabethan England. Sonnets and verse letters are woven around a journal of life in a twenty-first century writers’ retreat (Hawthornden Castle) and a prose allegory of Ben Jonson’s famous walk from London to Scotland to visit William Drummond. The collection concludes with a witty modern masque.

    Read more about Knot from Worple’s website, and more about John Greening’s poetry from his own site. You can also follow him on Twitter. John Greening will be reading at various events and festivals around the country in July and August, and you can see these listed on the Worple site.

    Worple Press was founded by Peter and Amanda Carpenter in 1997. Since then they have published a wide range of authors, including Iain Sinclair, Joseph Woods, Elizabeth Cook, Beverley Bie Brahic, Clive Wilmer and Kevin Jackson. They published the selected poems of the acclaimed American nature poet Peter Kane Dufault for the first time in the UK (Looking in All Directions); this was followed in 2007 by Kane Dufault’s To be in the same world. Peter Robinson’s The Great Friend and Other Translated Poems was the Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation for Spring 2002. This impressive backlist was augmented in 2012 by three significant titles: Passio: Fourteen Poems by János Pilinszky from Clive Wilmer and George Gömöri; Riddance by Anthony Wilson; and the republication of William Hayward’s cult novel from 1964, It Never Gets Dark All Night. Over 2013 and 2014 new titles have included work from John Greening, Michael McKimm, Peter Robinson, Mary Woodward and Sally Flint. More information can be found on Worple Press’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed, and you can sign up for Worple’s mailing list by e-mailing: theworpleco@aol.com.

    Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.