ISBN-10:
0819522589
ISBN-13:
9780819522580
Pub. Date:
02/15/1999
Publisher:
Wesleyan University Press
Other

Other

by Richard Caddel, Peter QuartermainRichard Caddel
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Overview

When most Americans think of contemporary British poetry, they think of such mainstream poets as Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, and Geoffrey Hill. Yet there is a vibrant, diverse alternative poetry movement in the UK, inspired in large measure by the work of such significant mentors as Basil Bunting and J. H. Prynne. There is growing interest in this work in the United States - as alternative American poetries express increasingly transnational concerns - and yet almost none of it is available here.

OTHER is a highly focused anthology bringing together several important strands of English-language poetry that are not otherwise so readily accessible. It includes work by 55 poets, among them Cris Cheek, Brian Coffey, Fred d'Aguiar, Allen Fisher, Ulli Freer, Randolph Healy, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Wendy Mulford, Tom Raworth, Denise Riley, Catherine Walsh; a critical introduction addressing such topics as the interaction of British and American poetic traditions; and brief biographical and bibliographical notes on each poet.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780819522580
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication date: 02/15/1999
Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.73(d)

About the Author

RICHARD CADDEL is a director of the Basil Bunting Poetry Centre, University of Durham, editor of Pig Press, author of three collections of poetry including Larksong Signal (1997), and editor of Basil Bunting: Complete Poems (1994). PETER QUARTERMAIN is Professor of English, University of British Columbia, author of Disjunctive Poetics: From Gertrude Stein and Louis Zukofsky to Susan Howe (1992) and Basil Bunting: Poet of the North (1990), and editor of Dictionary of Literary Biography: American Poets, 1880 - 1945 (1986).

Read an Excerpt




Chapter One


    John Agard


    Half-caste


Excuse me
standing on one leg
I'm half-caste

Explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when picasso
mix red an green
is a half-caste canvas/
explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when light an shadow
mix in de sky
is a half-caste weather/
well in dat case
england weather
nearly always half-caste
in fact some o dem cloud
half-caste till dem overcast
so spiteful dem dont want de sun pass
ah rass/
explain yuself
wha yu mean
when you say half-caste
yu mean when tchaikovsky
sit down at dah piano
an mix a black key
wid a white key
is a half-caste symphony/

Explain yuself
wha yu mean
Ah listening to yu wid de keen

half of mih ear
Ah lookin at yu wid de keen
half of mih eye
an when I'm introduced to you
I'm sure you'll understand
why I offer yu half-a-hand
an when I sleep at night
I close half-a-eye
consequently when I dream
I dream half-a-dream
an when moon begin to glow
I half-caste human being
cast half-a-shadow
but yu must come back tomorrow

wid de whole of yu eye
an de whole of yu ear
an de whole of yu mind

an I will tell yu
de other half
of my story


    Palm Tree King


Because I come fromthe West Indies
certain people in England seem to think
I is a expert on palm trees

So not wanting to sever dis link
with me native roots (know what ah mean?)
or to disappoint dese culture vulture
I does smile cool as seabreeze

and say to dem
which specimen
you interested in
cause you talking
to the right man
I is palm tree king
I know palm tree history

like de palm o me hand
In fact me navel string
bury under a palm tree

If you think de queen could wave
you ain't see nothing yet
till you see the Roystonea Regia
—that is the royal palm—
with she crown of leaves
waving calm-calm
over the blue Caribbean carpet
nearly 100 feet of royal highness

But let we get down to business
Tell me what you want to know
How tall a palm tree does grow?
What is the biggest coconut I ever see?
What is the average length of the leaf?

Don't expect me to be brief
cause palm tree history
is a long-long story

Anyway why you so interested
in length and circumference?
That kind of talk so ordinary
That don't touch the essence
of palm tree mystery
That is no challenge
to a palm tree historian like me

If you insist on statistics
why you don't pose a question
with some mathematical profundity?

Ask me something more tricky
like if a American tourist with a camera
take 9 minutes to climb a coconut tree
how long a English tourist without a camera
would take to climb the same coconut tree?

That is problem pardner
Now ah coming harder

If 6 straw hat
and half a dozen bikini
multiply by the same number of coconut tree
equal one postcard
how many square miles of straw hat
you need to make a tourist industry?

That is problem pardner
Find the solution
and you got a revolution

But before you say anything
let I palm tree king
give you dis warning
Ah want de answer in metric
it kind of rhyme with tropic
Besides it sound more exotic


    Listen Mr Oxford Don


Me not no Oxford don
me a simple immigrant
from Clapham Common
I didn't graduate
I immigrate

But listen Mr Oxford don
I'm a man on de run
and a man on de run
is a dangerous one

I ent have no gun
I ent have no knife
but mugging de Queen's English
is the story of my life.

I dont need no axe
to split/ up yu syntax
I dont need no hammer
to mash/up yu grammar

I warning you Mr Oxford don
I'm a wanted man
and a wanted man
is a dangerous one

Dem accuse me of assault
on de Oxford dictionary/
imagine a concise peaceful man like me/
dem want me serve time
for inciting rhyme to riot
but I tekking it quiet
down here in Clapham Common

I'm not a violent man Mr Oxford don
I only armed wit mih human breath
but human breath
is a dangerous weapon

So mek dem send one big word after me
I ent serving no jail sentence
I slashing suffix in self-defence
I bashing future wit present tense
and if necessary

I making de Queen's English accessory/to my offence


    Tony Baker


    armillaria mellea

(for Roy Fisher & John Keats)

knees on off fists and hello lute's
fullness
is all I'd ask

that voice too
should be a lace

         & not always
unknottable—

"Not played for six months
my hands feel like housebricks"

          —trailing sideways
from a stump, its deceiving
forms pungent
        & plumply chunky

    plus a veil so thick
I thought it a cortinarius:
my mistake.

         —or think of friend Thelonius
leaping them tenths to opposite
               extremes, jumpin'
         Jack landing
   slap in the crack & rhythm-a-ning
clean through all such conclusions ...


    A Pavane on Mr Wray's Locations


Audrey Causey
     betwixt Titchworth

and Chidley

possibly

        as you go
          to the nearest windmill
on the Northside of town

(among stones)

we could not find it


* * *


   above the Paper mills
among the stones
        in the stone walk

    as by a great ditch-side
near Stretham ferry
                  Abundantly

             about the Fens
                Marsh and Chattersee
in the Isle of Ely


* * *


see and compare: Natura
     makes no jumps
                   passes

              under the wall
                near the footway on
the back side of Clare-hall

        to extreme only
through a mean


* * *


    we have searched
       about a gravill-pit
near the beacon

         from Barnwell
to the pest-houses
    we could not find it—
                      Howbeit

we do not deny
        (in some osier holts
  among stones

possibly it may grow there


* * *


    le passage (Morbihan)


is an assemblage

of some kind

swept
    like marshgrass through a fissure in


        call it mind
            if you will
it's surely tidal
                  whatever the subject
or its encroachments the mud sister mud

something that has gone out on the estuarine levels
returns, raucous
                  into the face of it, the human
    portion a heron rises over, slow dominion
of slewed stakes,
                  hulls,
                         their refusal, borne
out along the margins, to test the burdens
displaced by sheer persistence


O Lord
I wanna cross over, let me
cross over into campground


    Anthony Barnett


    Music of the Spheres


A finger lifted to the eye
An indecipherable mark on the parapet
The echo of a heart
An indecisive flutter.

It was strange to me
That madder should be garanza
And guarantee garanzia.

And in my moon swarm
There is no difference
Between between

And in my halfhearted
Moon swarm
Defense and beauty
Place their feet upon the stove.

To die of cultures
Always asleep and inchoate.

And in my moon swam
Petals
Glimpses and bottles.

A shadow escaped
You paid no heed
Instead
I heard the rhythm of the head.

You ran your film
The poetry of inadequate desire.

You divulged and diverged
The shadow of a boat.

Lost and caught in the moment
Unspoken outspoken voices
Visible and volatile.

Gazing at the sky
Watching the words streaming
In the one dimensional English shape
of things.

It's all accordion.


Turbulence and Tongue

Nothing escapes.
I strengthen my
head and my heart.
Slept in my eyes. I
circle you. I turn
into the sun.

* * *

Lost in solicitude,
windows, impressions,
blinds.

* * *

The mouths wear against her.
It comes over you with a sigh.
It draws you out into the semblance.

* * *

Here are my thoughts
in cacophony.
Childish. Gibberish.
Beauteous.

* * *

Infertility.
Words.
You unfortunate cookie.

* * *

Captivated in the
dark ages. Inactivated
sampler.

* * *

O circumlocution.
Once I was interested.
Things crowded into
The Theatre of Thereafter.

* * *

A footnote to your history.
A proposition.
A profile.

* * *

Scent of elderflower.
Tar. I
put my finger on it.

* * *

Spent under
the heat.

What People are Saying About This

Marjorie Perloff

"In the past two decades, British and Irish poetry have undergone a silent revolution. While the mainstream media present us with a 'Britain' still writing poetry under the sign of Philip Larkin or Ted Hughes, a number of strong oppositional voices have emerged -- voices committed to a radical rethinking of the 'Movement' and its tepid aftermath. Rick Caddel and Peter Quartermain have produced an excellent anthology of this breakthrough poetry. No one interested in the 'turn' of poetry in the late twentieth century will want to miss it."

Charles Bernstein

"Caddell and Quartermain have gathered an intellectually and aesthetically challenging kaleidoscope of poems - fundamental information for anyone interested in contemporary writing. Other is the best anthology of British and Irish poetry now available."

From the Publisher

"In the past two decades, British and Irish poetry have undergone a silent revolution. While the mainstream media present us with a 'Britain' still writing poetry under the sign of Philip Larkin or Ted Hughes, a number of strong oppositional voices have emerged — voices committed to a radical rethinking of the 'Movement' and its tepid aftermath. Rick Caddel and Peter Quartermain have produced an excellent anthology of this breakthrough poetry. No one interested in the 'turn' of poetry in the late twentieth century will want to miss it."—Marjorie Perloff

"Caddell and Quartermain have gathered an intellectually and aesthetically challenging kaleidoscope of poems - fundamental information for anyone interested in contemporary writing. Other is the best anthology of British and Irish poetry now available."—Charles Bernstein, David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters, SUNY/Buffalo

Marjorie Perloff

"In the past two decades, British and Irish poetry have undergone a silent revolution. While the mainstream media present us with a 'Britain' still writing poetry under the sign of Philip Larkin or Ted Hughes, a number of strong oppositional voices have emerged -- voices committed to a radical rethinking of the 'Movement' and its tepid aftermath. Rick Caddel and Peter Quartermain have produced an excellent anthology of this breakthrough poetry. No one interested in the 'turn' of poetry in the late twentieth century will want to miss it."

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