Poetry. Edited by August Kleinzahler, SELECTED POEMS presents the remarkable range of Roy Fisher's restless and exploratory poetry. Stripped of ornament, skeptical in temperament, these poems find music in sudden disruptions, hesitations, and silences. They often move through post-industrial landscapes of Birmingham and the English Midlands, registering crepuscular half-tones, "the dog odour / of water," and "malted-milk brickwork." Beyond such literal subjects, Fisher captures the intermingling of fancy and perception, the play of light and shadow in the mind itself. As Kleinzahler suggests in his foreword to this volume, "The eye darts about in Fisher's poetry. It abhors the object at rest, framing of any kind. It's like a camera, jerking and swiveling on an unstable tripod. Early and late, the poetry is about the eye in motion. The shifts may be subtle or vertiginously abrupt. It's best not to get too comfortable as you progress through a poem because you're not going to be where you think you are for long."
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About the Author
Roy Fisher was born in 1930 in Birmingham, England, where he lived until 1972. He worked as a pianist as well as a teacher of literature in schools and colleges, including the University of Keele, Staffordshire. Beginning with City (1961), he has published more than thirty books and pamphlets of poetry, including collaborations with visual artists such as Ronald King and Tom Phillips. He now lives in a village in Derbyshire's Peak District.