PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: to access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott

(PN Review 235)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Peter Scupham at 85: a celebration Contributions by Anne Stevenson, Robert Wells, Peter Davidson, Lawrence Sail

This review is taken from PN Review 115, Volume 23 Number 5, May - June 1997.

THE GROSSETESTE CONNECTION JOHN RILEY, Selected Poems ed. Michael Grant (Carcanet) £12.95
SÉAN RAFFERTY, Collected Poems ed. Nicholas Johnson (Carcanet) £12.95
SÉAN RAFFERTY, Peacocks. Full Stop (Poetical Histories) £3.50
MICHAEL HASLAM, A Whole Bauble (Carcanet) £14.95

'Suddenly the press had a poet, the fun had a purpose,' wrote Tim Longville in his catalogue note for Ancient and Modern, published in 1967 by Grosseteste Press. John Riley and Longville set up the press together with Gordon Jackson in 1966, and from 1968 until Riley's murder in 1978 co-edited Grosseteste Review, among the most significant magazines of the time; they also co-authored several small collections, and two volumes of superb translations from Holderlin. In 1980, Longville published The Collected Works, including much of Riley's prose and his solo translations from Mandelstam and others, but omitting all the collaborations (the book runs to 500 pages as it is). Michael Grant has made an excellent selection of about half of the poems in The Collected Works, omitting the earlier work in Ancient and Modern, but otherwise reprinting Riley's collections virtually entire, together with some pieces uncollected at his death. The title poem is worth quoting in full:

Away from the house the sun falls
And trees almost in leaf in yesterday's
Put on today an elegant new shape,
A complex, streamlined growth. Did
  you ever see

The maidenhair (some few survive), a
Historic tree? Limpid leaf, irregularity,
A touching intent to grow come what
With perhaps insufficient means: a

To look on. As who shall see in winter
Compassionate history ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image