Saturday, May 24, 2008

The thing about the thing about you know who

In a small room I have a shelf of books which I dabble in when I'm in there. Recently I've been dipping into The Thing About Roy Fisher, a collection of essays published by Liverpool UP, and going to Fisher's most recent Collected as and when poems are mentioned. Today I read one about the anatomy of a plant/poet ('Every Man His Own Eyebright', classic Fisher drollery), reread 'Staffordshire Red', his poem addressing Geoffrey Hill (must read more Hill), and reread 'The Thing About Joe Sullivan', a thing I never tire of (well, I daresay I could, if pushed to a ridiculous extent):

And that thing is his mood
a feeling violent and ordinary

that runs in among standard forms so
wrapped up in clarity

that fingers following his
through figures that sound obvious

find corners everywhere

Ace. I want to have a go at 'A Furnace', his long poem that everyone raves about, but I can't give it the sustained attention it needs at present, this month, this summer.


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