Thursday 19 July 2012

Two Oystercatcher pamphlets: Birds by Allen Fisher and Twelve Moons by Peter Riley (both 2009)

On my travels, if I want a book that'll fit in my backpack-style handbag, I grab a pamphlet or two, and the last two such titles I took were Birds by Allen Fisher and The Twelve Moons by Peter Riley. While I'll include some excerpts below, as both pamphlets are composed of short lyric poems, many of the poems are most successful as a whole, so I have quoted only a portion of the pamphlets' best writing here.

From Allen Fisher's Birds:

until a swan opens his wings in my head

from "17"

look out on a culture too
late for recovery to
avoid narrative traps delineations
of low blow whistles to
demonstrate sonic coherence
or some parody of fairness

second half of "18"

ashen air
beneath scratches of bright sun

end of "23"

Peter Riley's The Twelve Moons consists of his versions of Chinese poet Li Ho, also known as Li He (700-816 AD):

for hundreds of miles bright wind in the vegetation

a warm mist blown down to earth

from "3rd Moon"

Cool at dusk and dawn, all the trees

a thousand mountains, green depths beyond clouds

faint perfume in the rain falling through greenery


old red flowers on the ground, glow in tree-shade.

beginning and end of "4th Moon"

The palace walls stretch into cold daylight


Bells! this wine has waited a thousand days

we drink against the cold, to the Emperor

from "11th Moon"

Buy these pamphlets directly from the publisher: here for Birds, here for The Twelve Moons.

1 comment:

  1. part of my post @ for July 3, 2009, discusses/recommends Allen Fisher's BIRDS.