Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 26 November 2012

  • Appletreewick

    Everywhere the water’s height
    surprises, a great smooth swelling
    over weirs, a sheer glass welling
    above the banks as skeins of light
    wind around themselves in mauves
    and greys, the bearded islets broken
    from the shores by the red churn
    chafed with the white of rock-cleaved waves,
    as if it had transformed the soft
    rise of the ground to liquid, the scuff
    of pasture rippling on the bones
    of rock like shot silk, while the rafts
    of farms, roped to their mooring stones
    by walls, ride on a tide of turf.

    by Julian Turner

    'Appletreewick' is copyright © Julian Turner, 2011. It is reprinted from Planet-Struck (2011) by permission of Anvil Press.

    Notes from Anvil Press:

    Much of the material in Julian Turner's third collection works under malign influence, which comes most often from the hand of Man, but is also haunted by elements, spirits and other forces that seem beyond our control. This compelling book also celebrates human ingenuity and heroism in the face of such weighty opponents and laments our inclination to blame others for our misfortune and unhappiness.

    Time and memory, the transitory nature of human remains from the earliest man-made monuments, how nature suffers from man-made depredations, the strange states of mind that arise from extreme experience – all of these contribute to this book's rich and multi-layered insight into the human condition. You can learn more about his work from his own website.

    Julian Turner's previous books are Crossing the Outskirts – a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Forward Prize best first collection in 2002 – and Orphan Sites (2006). Planet-Struck was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for 2011. Julian Turner was born in Cheadle Hulme, near Manchester, in 1955 and was educated at New College, Oxford and Goldsmith's, London. He lives with his partner in Otley, West Yorkshire.

    Anvil Press, founded in 1968, is based in Greenwich, south-east London, in a building off Royal Hill that has been used at various points in its 150-year history as a dance-hall and a printing works. Anvil grew out of a poetry magazine which Peter Jay ran as a student in Oxford and retains its small company ethos. Visit Anvil's website here, where you can sign up to their mailing list to find out about new publications and events.

    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.