Volume 107, No 3, Autumn 2017

The Poetry Review 1073

“How hard a word ‘understanding’ is to understand”, the psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has observed. “The understanding between people supposedly referring to some shared foundations, or what might be underneath where we stand.” “Under every message / another message”, as Beverley Bie Brahic tells us overleaf. The word “palimpsest” appears three times in this issue. I remember first learning it at school when (briefly) studying Latin and I felt a soaring in my chest at the thought of all those sepia-toned scraps of parchment scribbled over indecipherably, one text on top of another. “We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom”, wrote Michael Ondaatje in The English Patient. “I wish for all this to be marked on my body when I am dead. […] We are communal histories, communal books.”
   To write a poem is to make a new mark on top of all these old marks; even if the old marks aren’t visible, they’re there.

from Emily Berry’s Editorial


Beverley Bie Brahic, Palimpsest
Padraig Regan, Notes on Various Squashes
James Sutherland-Smith, Autumn Coming On, Snow
Ruth Wiggins, “It’s unclear why Miss Pasternak was in the forest…”
Aria Aber, Fata Morgana, 1987, Rapture Series Read Aria’s ‘Behind the poem’ article on ‘Fata Morgana, 1987’
Lucy Mercer, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower
Ishion Hutchinson, West Ride Out, Travel Axe
Terence John, Before Breakfast at Brush Lake, The Ramble: New York City
Matthew Sweeney, Google Maps, The Prayer, Nowhere Man, The Bone Rosary
Tony Roberts, Worms: A Love Poem
Amy Key, I wish I had invented the woman, Two Cats
Nansorhon / Ian Haight / T’ae-yong Ho, A Young Man’s Song, Small Lingering Joys, Part III, Remnants, Part I, Remnants, Part V
Eiffel Gao, from 24 Phases of Spring Flowers
Khadijah Queen, Something about the way I am made is not made, I wish I’d learned to take better care, Live unadorned
Niall Campbell, Clapping Game, First Illness
Matthew Caley, Meadow-saffrons
Marion Hobday, First Catch Your Hare
Tim Liardet, To the Mother as Event Horizon, To the Mother at The Electric
Colette Bryce, Perfect Smile, Needles to Say Read Colette’s ‘Behind the poem’ article on ‘Perfect Smile’
Steve Ely, A great herd of swine, feeding, The countrey of the Gadarenes
Rebecca Tamás, from Witch
Astrid Alben, Happiness, Between the Lines


Victoria Adukwei Bulley on making MOTHER TONGUES
Chris Moss celebrates the poetic status of tango song


Jay Bernard, W.N. Herbert, Hera Lindsay Bird and Roger Robinson


John Greening on Helen Dunmore, Bill Manhire and James Sheard
Kit Fan tunes in to Jorie Graham and Pauline Stainer
Ellen Cranitch reviews Daljit Nagra and Marion McCready
Khalid Lyamlahy on Abdellatif Laâbi and Vénus Khoury-Ghata in translation
Sandeep Parmar reviews Layli Long Soldier and Tara Bergin
Carol Rumens on Nick Makoha and André Naffis-Sahely
Tim Dooley on Kayo Chingonyi, Maria Apichella and Chrissy Williams
Stephen Burt on Nuar Alsadir and Karen McCarthy Woolf
Jane Yeh on Morgan Parker and Patricia Lockwood
Jen Campbell on D/deaf and disabled poetics  Listen to an audio version of this review



Catherine Hamilton on Kathryn Maris’s ‘Transgression and Transcendence’

Cover image: Sophy Hollington