Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 16 February 2015

  • San F.


    Bridged city under fog-white hills
    The weeks were love and ended our eyes turning
    Away past silence, endurable, the way damp soil tills.
    In front of October, already, love was slower burning.
    Wakeless suspension, her absence the agent of fever,
    You gave the meaning of newspapers, and cleared the mist,
    Silently plaguing like a dress I can’t remember
    As i held back love with gripped fist.
    Sirocco, and even the week-ends spent
    The mental move must precede suitcases packed
    Standing eternally within this dolmen we bent
    Two memories and me gazing into plaster cracked.
           Give time the time to rewind cells
           Another meeting will arrange new hells.


    by Ed Dorn

    Our contemporary poetry conference, New to Next Generation 2014, takes place between 13-14 March 2015 in London, and features a wide range of discussion panels, poets (such as Helen Mort and Nick Drake), publishers and editors (like Peter Target from this week’s publisher, Enitharmon, Tom Chivers, and Karen McCarthy Woolf), and critics (such as David Wheatley, Suzi Feay, and Jeremy Noel-Tod). You can register for the conference on the IES website. All are welcome. On 13 March, there is also a free evening reading featuring Ian Duhig, Patience Agbabi, and Hannah Lowe. Please register for that here.

    ‘San F.’ is copyright © Edward Dorn, 2015. It is published in Derelict Air, and is reprinted here by permission of Enitharmon Press.
     
    Derelict Air gathers over 400 pages of Edward Dorn’s previously uncollected poetry. Whereas Dorn’s Collected Poems exhibits the poet that he became, Derelict Air reflects a career of becoming, full of unacknowledged successes: impassioned outbursts written during the Cuban missile crisis, illustrated bucolics for an unfinished children’s book, “confetti poems” meant to shower the 1968 DNC, translations of native texts from the Mayans and Aztecs, outtakes from his sci-fi epic Gunslinger, and a relentless extension of his nineties 'stock ticker'. Complete with scholarly endnotes, manuscript facsimiles, and a cover by the painter Raymond Obermayr, this substantial offering of Dorn’s poetry makes fully visible the transatlantic roots of his anti-capitalism, and is a must-have for anyone interested in post-War American modernism. The book contains a large number of illustrations, including reproductions of manuscripts which reveal Dorn’s unique style of composition. You can find out more about the book on the Enitharmon website, and listen to Ed Dorn read from his work on the PennSound website.

    Edward Dorn (1929-1999) was born in Eastern Illinois in 1929 and grew up in rural poverty during the Great Depression. He studied at Black Mountain College with Charles Olson. For several years he travelled through the far West of America, following the winds of writing and employment. He taught at various universities in America and the UK (Essex) where he wrote the first book of his epic Gunslinger), before accepting a professorship in 1978 at the University of Colorado, Boulder where he continued teaching until his death in December 1999. He is the author of over forty books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and translation. Writing about Dorn’s work in The Guardian , Patrick McGuinness observed that ‘what you get from Dorn is not available anywhere else in poetry.’

    'William Blake dreamed up the original Enitharmon as one of his inspiriting, good, female daemons, and his own spirit as a poet-artist, printer-publisher still lives in the press which bears the name of his creation. Enitharmon is a rare and wonderful phenomenon, a press where books are shaped into artefacts of lovely handiwork as well as communicators of words and worlds. The writers and the artists published here over the last forty-­five years represent a truly historic gathering of individuals with an original vision and an original voice, but the energy is not retrospective: it is growing and new ideas enrich the list year by year. Like an ecologist who manages to restock the meadows with a nearly vanished species of wild flower or brings a rare pair of birds back to found a colony, this publisher has dedicatedly and brilliantly made a success of that sharply endangered species, the independent press.' (Marina Warner.)

    You can sign up to the mailing list on the Enitharmon site to receive a newsletter with special offers, details of readings & events and new titles and Enitharmon's Poem of the Month. You can also find Enitharmon on Facebook.

    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.