Issue 12 Editorial Note


Three years. Twelve issues. Around 300 poems. Are you surprised? We are. We weren’t sure that we’d manage more than a couple of issues. Yet Antiphon seems alive, kicking and making, in its gentle way, an impression, too. We’re pleased to see the magazine cited in an increasing number of collections, and to find poetry sites we respect giving us a helpful ‘thumbs up’, too.

But, as always, it’s the readers and the contributors who make the magazine a success. So keep your poems coming. Without the quality work of poets like Jane Røken and Jean Kreiling (both in this issue, both favourites of ours), weird and wonderful pieces like Anthony Wilson’s ‘S’ and Betram Mullin’s ‘Evolution’, or the succinct lyrical observation of poems like Tess Farnham’s ‘Dragonfly on a Sidewalk’, Antiphon would simply be twenty four blank pages and an apologetic editorial.

For me, any poem built around Led Zeppelin is going to have an unfair chance of acceptance, but Jayne Stanton’s ‘Love in Led Zeppelin Album Covers’ needs no such advantage, being a riff on rock imagery canned in a sort-of sonnet (and enhanced, perhaps, with an unconscious allusion to Tangerine Dream, too). We asked for sonnets for this issue, and have been pleased to receive some particularly good ones. The half rhymes in ‘Metastases’ are clever and subtle. ‘Postpartum’ eschews rhyme but manages to squeeze a sonnet into a single sentence. Both deal with difficult subjects. Sarah White’s ‘Dying Trade’ is a more traditional, Shakespearian sonnet with strong rhymes and love as the subject, but expresses itself in a nicely conversational voice that the Bard himself might have approved of.

But all the poems we’ve picked are good ones. They all have virtues, some of novelty and some of classic value. Some have strangeness as their raison d’etre, whilst others offer near-perfect craft. We’re pleased with this issue – but then, we’ve been pleased with all twelve so far. No doubt we’ll be just as happy after another twelve issues, another three years.



Pictures for this edition are taken from 'The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands' by Mark Catesby, London 1731-1743. Wellcome Library, London.