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David Morley

David Morley won the Ted Hughes Award for New Poetry in 2016 for The Invisible Gift: Selected Poems.

Poem: ‘Yarak’

David Morley, 30 November 2017

Note: ‘Yarak’ is an eastern term for when a hunting bird’s training, weight and mental focus all come together in the field.

Three sentences of this poem are adapted from Raptors of California by Hans Peeters and Pam Peeters.

Two Poems

David Morley, 10 August 2016

Lesson Three

Dad was not dad. Dad was the mad train screaming daily into the station of his home,

white-hot brakes shrieking, exploding across the platforms of the rooms. So regular,

so on time, you could set your watch. Five hours. Four. Three. Two. The skies were my watch.

I saw the evening redden, and I hid. Hiding to nowhere. A phrase I still hate.

Dad’s train shivered and...

Three Poems

David Morley, 2 December 2010

Zhivàkos the Horseman

This circle of grass needs to be sited just right – superlevel, softhard, southnorth. Horses are picky. Shires, Shetlands, they’ve attitude just like you and me. Making circus isn’t about our own people’s pleasures, not when there are beasts. Beasts come first and last. On a one to ten the horses are eleven, twelve. We’ve a camel too,...

Songs of Papusza

I was once besotted with a black-eyed boy. The young menof my kumpania stretched him out in an àshariba. Only then

did Dion´yzy Wajs, ancient Dion´yzy Wajs, pay his coin and court.He possessed harps, bought my mother and stepfather’s heart.

All I possessed were secret books. Dion´yzy arranged my bedas we both wished. There will be no children, he had...

Poem: ‘From ‘Fresh Water’’

David Morley, 11 June 2009

i. Port Meadow, Oxford, 1983

Walking to Woodstock Road from Wytham where leaf-worlds welled from all the wood’s wands, we talked salmon, midges, flood meadows, the energy system cindering softly under us, slow-cooking the marshlands.

‘The gate ought to be here. The map said so. That map back at my flat . . . Look, there’s a spot somewhere this way where sheep shove...

We are waiting for a Christmas that never came, each species a friend of a friend of some needle-hue. All the years, heights and postures are present like children in a school that no child ever leaves.

Each species a friend of a friend of some needle-hue: those adolescent spruces prickle with boredom like children in a school that no child ever leaves. The infant firs sing to themselves in...

Two Poems

David Morley, 23 February 2006

Bears

Pawpaw and Paprika, two great bears of the Egyptians of Lancashire, Chohawniskey Tem, the Witches’ County,

who, when our camp plucked its tents and pulled out its maps, walked steadily with the wagons, ambling, always ambling,

all across the open pages of wet England, footing as far as Pappin-eskey Tem, the flat Duck County;

crossing to Curo-mengreskey Gav, the Boxers’ Town;...

The Hippest

Terry Eagleton, 7 March 1996

Anyone writing a novel about the British intellectual Left, who began by looking around for some exemplary fictional figure to link its various trends and phases, would find themselves...

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Jihad

James Wood, 5 August 1993

Poetry anthologies are now expected to make holy war; but what to do with The New Poetry, which strives so earnestly to turn its trumpet-majors into angels? The 55 poets collected here are, it...

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