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Authors: Fleur Adcock

Poems 1960-2000

BOOK: Poems 1960-2000
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FLEUR ADCOCK
POEMS 1960-2000

 

Fleur Adcock is one of Britain’s most accomplished poets. Her poised, ironic poems are tense and tightly controlled as well as shrewdly laconic, and often chilling as she unmasks the deceptions of love or unravels family lives. Disarmingly conversational in style, they are remarkable for their psychological insight and their unsentimental, mischievously casual view of personal relationships.

 

Born in New Zealand, she has explored questions of identity and rootedness throughout her work, both in relation to her personal allegiances to her native and adopted countries as well as her family history, whose long-dead characters she brings to life. She has also written movingly of birth, death and bereavement, and has tackled political issues with honest indignation and caustic wit.

 

This first Collected edition of her poetry replaces her
Selected Poems
, with the addition of work from her later Oxford collections
The Incident Book, Time-Zones
and
Looking Back
. It does not cover her later collection
Dragon
Talk
(2010)

 

‘Adcock has a deceptively laid-back tone, through which the sharper edge of her talent is encountered like a razor blade in a peach’ –
CAROL ANN DUFFY
,
Guardian

 

‘Adcock’s reputation has been founded on her spare, conversational poems, in which the style is deceptively simple, apparently translucent…a voice which teases both reader and subject’ –
JO
SHAPCOTT
,
TLS

 

‘Most of Fleur Adcock’s best poems have something to do with bed: she writes well about sex, very well about illness, and very well indeed about dreaming…Her imagination thrives on what threatens her peace of mind, and only when she is unguarded can these threats have their full creative effect…Throughout her writing life, she has made a fine art from holding on to principles of orderliness and good clear sense; but she has made an even finer one from loosening her grip on them’ –
ANDREW MOTION
,
TLS

 

COVER PAINTING
:
Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543) :
A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling
©
NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON

Fleur Adcock

POEMS
1960-2000
CONTENTS

Title Page

Acknowledgement
s

 

EARLY POEMS FROM

The Eye of the Hurricane (1964)
AND
Tigers (1967)

 

Note on Propertius

Flight, with Mountains

Beauty Abroad

Knife-play

Instructions to Vampires

Incident

Unexpected Visit

For Andrew

For a Five-Year-Old

Comment

Miss Hamilton in London

The Man Who X-Rayed an Orange

Composition for Words and Paint

Regression

I Ride on My High Bicycle

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Hauntings

Advice to a Discarded Lover

The Water Below

Think Before You Shoot

The Pangolin

 

High Tide in the Garden (1971)

 

A Game

Bogyman

Clarendon Whatmough

A Surprise in the Peninsula

Purple Shining Lilies

Afterwards

Happy Ending

Being Blind

Grandma

Ngauranga Gorge Hill

Stewart Island

On a Son Returned to New Zealand

Saturday

Trees

Country Station

The Three-toed Sloth

Against Coupling

Mornings After

Gas

 

The Scenic Route (1974)

 

The Bullaun

Please Identify Yourself

Richey

The Voyage Out

Train from the Hook of Holland

Nelia

Moa Point

Briddes

The Famous Traitor

Script

In Memoriam: James K. Baxter

St John’s School

Pupation

The Drought Breaks

Kilpeck

Feverish

Folie à Deux

Acris Hiems

December Morning

Showcase

Over the Edge

The Net

An Illustration to Dante

Tokens

Naxal

Bodnath

External Service

Flying Back

Near Creeslough

Kilmacrenan

Glenshane

 

The Inner Harbour (1979)

 

Beginnings

Future Work

Our Trip to the Federation

Mr Morrison

Things

A Way Out

Prelude

Accidental

A Message

Proposal for a Survey

Fairy-tale

At the Creative Writing Course

 

Endings

The Ex-Queen Among the Astronomers

Off the Track

Beaux Yeux

Send-off

In Focus

Letter from Highgate Wood

Poem Ended by a Death

Having No Mind for the Same Poem

Syringa

 

The Thing Itself

Dry Spell

Visited

The Soho Hospital for Women

Variations on a Theme of Horace

A Walk in the Snow

A Day in October

House-talk

Foreigner

In the Dingle Peninsula

In the Terai

River

 

To and Fro

The Inner Harbour

Immigrant

Settlers

Going Back

Instead of an Interview

Londoner

To Marilyn from London

 

Below Loughrigg (1979)

 

Below Loughrigg

Three Rainbows in One Morning

Binoculars

Paths

Mid-point

The Spirit of the Place

The Vale of Grasmere

Letter to Alistair Campbell

Declensions

Weathering

Going Out from Ambleside

 

Selected Poems (1983)

 

In the Unicorn, Ambleside

Downstream

The Hillside

This Ungentle Music

The Ring

Corrosion

4 May 1979

Madmen

Shakespeare’s Hotspur

Nature Table

Revision

Influenza

Crab

Eclipse

On the Border

The Prize-winning Poem

An Emblem

Piano Concerto in E Flat Major

Villa Isola Bella

Lantern Slides

Dreaming

Street Song

Across the Moor

Bethan and Bethany

Blue Glass

Mary Magdalene and the Birds

 

Hotspur (1986)

 

Hotspur

Notes

 

The Incident Book (1986)

 

Uniunea Scriitorilor

Leaving the Tate

The Bedroom Window

The Chiffonier

Tadpoles

For Heidi with Blue Hair

The Keepsake

England’s Glory

The Genius of Surrey

Loving Hitler

 

Schools
 

Halfway Street, Sidcup

St Gertrude’s, Sidcup

Scalford School

Salfords, Surrey

Outwood

On the School Bus

Earlswood

Scalford Again

Neston

Chippenham

Tunbridge Wells

The High Tree

 

Telling Tales

Drowning

‘Personal Poem’

An Epitaph

Being Taken from the Place

Accidents

On the Land

Icon

Drawings

The Telephone Call

 

Incidentals

Excavations

Pastoral

Kissing

Double-take

Choices

 

Thatcherland

Street Scene, London N2

Gentlemen’s Hairdressers

Post Office

Demonstration

Witnesses

Last Song

 

Time-Zones (1991)

 

Counting

Libya

What May Happen

My Father

Cattle in Mist

Toads

Under the Lawn

Wren Song

Next Door

Heliopsis Scabra

House-martins

Wildlife

Turnip-heads

The Batterer

Roles

Happiness

Coupling

The Greenhouse Effect

The Last Moa

Creosote

Central Time

The Breakfast Program

From the Demolition Zone

On the Way to the Castle

Romania

 

Causes

The Farm

Aluminium

A Hymn to Friendship

Smokers for Celibacy

 

Mrs Fraser’s Frenzy

 

Meeting the Comet

 

Looking Back (1997)

 

I

Where They Lived

Framed

The Russian War

227 Peel Green Road

Nellie

Mary Derry

Moses Lambert: the Facts

Samuel Joynson

Amelia

Barber

Flames

Water

A Haunting

The Wars

Sub Sepibus

Anne Welby

Beanfield

Ancestor to Devotee

Frances

At Great Hampden

At Baddesley Clinton

Traitors

Swings and Roundabouts

Peter Wentworth in Heaven

Notes

 

II

Tongue Sandwiches

The Pilgrim Fathers

Paremata

Camping

Bed and Breakfast

Rats

Stockings

A Political Kiss

An Apology

Festschrift

Offerings

Danger: Swimming and Boating Prohibited

Risks

Blue Footprints in the Snow

Summer in Bucharest

Moneymore

The Voices

Willow Creek

Giggling

Trio

The Video

 

New Poems (2000)

 

Easter

High Society

For Meg

A Visiting Angel

It’s Done This

Kensington Gardens

 

INDEX OF TITLES AND FIRST LINES
 

By the Same Author

About the Author

Copyright

BOOK: Poems 1960-2000
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