The winner in the third annual contest for the New Criterion Poetry Prize, Skywriting and Other Poems is a triumphant book by an acknowledged master of the craft. Charles Tomlinson's unfailing sensitivity and decorum toward the visual world is brilliantly realized in this new book. Willard Spiegelman calls him "a patient looker at landscape." Whether his subject is a temple in Japan, the landscapes of his native England, or the "lithe iambics" of two runners on a beach in Italy, Mr. Tomlinson's extraordinary perception is everywhere evident. It is a perception that lights up the world, "as lightning explores the sleeping face of nature." His ethical sense emerges not from politics or a social agenda but from his precise and fastidious evaluation of the perceived world. Donald Hall calls him "a master of the craft....His poems have the finality of form which you find only among the first-rate."
About the Author
Charles Tomlinson was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, read English at Queen's College, Cambridge, and is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, literary essays, and admired translations, and editor of the important and acclaimed Oxford Book of Verse in English Translation. Mr. Tomlinson has received the Bennett Award from the Hudson Review for his achievement in poetry. He has also had shows in the United Kingdom of his paintings and drawings. He lives in England.
Table of Contents
|Mexico: A Sequence||11|
|A Visit to Don Miguel||21|
|Waiting for the Bus at Tlacochahuaya||23|
|A Fragment from Mexico||26|
|From the Plane||29|
|The Etruscan Graveyard at Marzabotto||32|
|The Runners at San Benedetto||34|
|July on the High Plain||38|
|The Journey: Pescocostanzo--Roma||39|
|Farewell to Europa||45|
|On Lantau Island||56|
|Waiting for John||59|
|Bristol Night Walk||60|
|Death of a Poet||62|
|For T. H.||64|
|Cotswold Journey (2001)||65|
|Spem in Alium||67|
|Newark Park (an upward glance)||72|
|In the Hallway||75|
|The Even Numbers||77|
|If Bach had been a Beekeeper||78|
|Ode to Memory||83|
|Fire and Air||87|
What People are Saying About This
A patient looker at landscape.
A master of the craft, his poems have the finality of form which you find only among the first-rate.
He is fascinated-with his eyes open: a lucid fascination-at the universal busyness, the continuous generation and degeneration of things.
Tomlinson's poetry gives a refreshing rustle or seething to the words which bespeak the entrance of a new life.
His poems are among the best in the English language this century.