Wednesday 26 December 2012

R.F. Langley's Collected Poems (Carcanet, 2000), first selection

Some favourite passages:

passage of the cars, slight
pressure of the sparrow's
chirps--just what the old glass
gently tested, bending,
she would have meant, and not
a dream ascending. 


...the lie she told to throw
the truth into relief.

Into the pure relief
of ordinary light.

from "Mariana"

We leave unachieved in the 
summer dusk. There was no
need for you rather than me.
Here is the unalterable truth.


Now, when I need it, I'm so close
to emptiness.


We find
peace in the room and don't
ask what won't be answered.

from "The Upshot"

We sway up, shut
down and open, coolly, each
small hour.


These inroads let
me understand, and mark
sharply. Over what? Over
brilliant quietness.


White hedonism cut on blue
intelligence and laced
with silver anxiety. Bravo.

from "The Ecstasy Inventories"

It is a common experience to come upon a
pale, glittering house set far back across
a meadow. It is certainly inside you.


The unexpected colours stare. The crowd
is wholly intent. A fluttering. A blaze.


The self is felt, 
as standing, fired, inside the diamond.

from "Juan Fernandez"

The drunk. Hush. Lay him down in
the sound of his name.

from "Saxon Landings"

O you, o you he
this, she this
here, once, and
again and again

from "Blithing"

Unbidden thoughts come sometimes


from "Rough Silk"

Once more the menace of the small
hours and of coming to light and of
each sharper complication.


This still
increasing presence is for the last time.
Then the beginning of an immense grip.


Nothing I want settles


It's a strange 
relief to transform your fretting into
the silent coiling of a phantom dragon.

from "The Gorgoneion"

R.F. Langley's Collected Poems is available directly from the publisher at a discount.

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