I shall continue to add recordings of the poems over the next few days.
I’ve also added a sign-up box so that you can receive notifications of new issues and Significant Happenings in the world of Antiphon.
First, the poem that acts as the prelude to the issue:
Heading home in the dark – Seth Crook
This is Rebecca Gethin’s chilling view through the eyes of the official artist of the Nuremberg Trials.
The one she is sketching is bored with it all.
He is intimate with fear’s little rustlings,
its held breath, the way it burns throats.
She notes how his eyes seem singed,
how his mouth is a wide slit across the block
of his face. He no longer listens
to the prosecutors drilling into his head.
What he has noticed is her attention,
the questioning of her pen nib.
Her eyes flick from paper to subject.
The Reichsmarshall looks up, stares straight back.
The quietly moving Living with the Dead, by Sandra Kolankiewicz
Living with the Dead, by Sandra Kolankiewicz
And here is Michael Bradburn-Ruster’s study of a feather that leads to something wider:
I never saw the bird, nor heard its flight,
assuming it was ever there at all;
perhaps the drowsy breeze began to wilt
and snatched up in one final flare of style
the weightless blade that spun down, helical
and delicate, to grace my path. I knelt
to a flame the color of fog, a quill
whose filament was pearl, articulate
of cloud, and seas’ immensity, of mist
and grassy headland stooping to the shore:
that feather filled my hand until a mast
loomed out of loneliness, and with a sheer
bloom of canvas, my heart – long pent and blind –
unfurled and glimpsed the day’s uncharted land.
And the wonderfully rich Bee Library, by Kay Buckley
Bee Library, by Kay Buckley
This first poem, Footslog, by Julia Webb is a wonderful journey ‘walking the wild-camber of salt-wash’. It needs to be seen as well as heard but since the layout of the poem mimics the journey it’s best read in the magazine.
Footslog – Julia Webb
And now the lilting Ruysdael, Rough Sea by Catherine Rockwood.
Ingoing with a taut spritsail of white
showing its spinal dip, the weight of wind
pressed forward in the cloth: a Haarlem ship
whose load lightens her as she speeds to harbor.
For honor guards she’s salt-smacked passengers,
mixed cargo and a flicked-on trailing gull;
its wings bring sunlight down in a refrain
of brightness. Though the clouds above are vast
in heaven and move slow with higher airs,
tempted by the Italian Baroque,
still on she moves between them and rough water –
coast-runner, skipping matron, Holland’s daughter.
Florentines – Tom Phillips
Tom Phillips’ poem about his stay in Italy is also rather long to be reproduced here – find it in Act Three, very shortly!
For a magazine that has such an international range of contributors and readers as Antiphon it’s particularly interesting to hear the poems in the voice of their author. Thanks to all those who responded so enthusiastically to the suggestion of making an audio file. We will add more in due course.
Issue 14… coming very soon!