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Showing posts from October, 2010

More Paris Review Interviews: Murray and Simic

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Les Murray Charles Simic

Ted Hughes Poem

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“Last Letter” by Ted Hughes What happened that night? Your final night. Double, treble exposure Over everything. Late afternoon, Friday, My last sight of you alive. Burning your letter to me, in the ashtray, With that strange smile. Had I bungled your plan? Had it surprised me sooner than you purposed? Had I rushed it back to you too promptly? One hour later—-you would have been gone Where I could not have traced you. I would have turned from your locked red door That nobody would open Still holding your letter, A thunderbolt that could not earth itself. That would have been electric shock treatment For me. Repeated over and over, all weekend, As often as I read it, or thought of it. That would have remade my brains, and my life. The treatment that you planned needed some time. I cannot imagine How I would have got through that weekend. I cannot imagine. Had you plotted it all? Your note reached me too soon—-that same day, Friday afternoon, posted in the morning. The prevalent devi

Hilary Menos

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Congratulations to Hilary Menos whose collection 'Berg' has been awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Here are 3 of Hilary's poems to wet your appetite. Berg After the Larsen breakout of ninety-five, when a mound the size of Rutland calved with a howl into the Amundsen sea, and bergy bits and growlers surrounded Cape Longing, we were on standby. Glaciologists from Colorado to London argued over fracture mechanics and bed forms. Every satellite map looked like a storm breaking. We put a watch on the ice tongue Now everything mattered; melt water ponding, the crystallography of frazil ice, the hole in the ozone layer the thermodynamics of polar-bear hair. We sandbagged East Anglia, Holland They came like brides, majestic over Barking Reach, queued to check-in at the Barrier, their tabular tops reflecting weak sun, waltzed towards Wapping and Wandsworth, cold and hooded, each one like an inmate from some asylum holding the flowered hem of her an