Jamie McKendrick

Jamie McKendrick’s latest collection is Anomaly.

Poem: ‘The Lion Tree’

Jamie McKendrick, 23 January 2020

Alexander Cornelius mentions a tree called the lion-tree, the timber of which he says was used to build the Argo . . . which cannot be rotted by water or destroyed by fire . . . This tree is, so far as I am aware, unknown to anyone else.

Pliny the Elder

May well be extinct, and our one authority

is terse, but that surely speaks in his favour.No wonder its timber was used on the Argo– the...

Two Poems

Jamie McKendrick, 9 May 2019

Court of the Lions

After fifty years to revisit the Alhambra and witness the same water spewing from the lion’s maw: I remember wearing a silver short-sleeved shirt adorned with dragons, and for the first time,

on the airport runway, hearing the night alive with the cicadas’ tiny anvils. This time, the metal plate screwed to my femur vibrates to their call, my heart to the...

Two Poems

Jamie McKendrick, 22 February 2018

The Flight

Others look down on me. As well they might. I look down on myself from a great height: see the tramp’s straggly hair turned white

– the off-white of effluent-polluted sea-foam – the bony shoulders, the incipient bald dome and black wings sprouting that will fly me home.


for Rachel Owen


I keep forgetting if this is Lucerne or Geneva, Geneva...

Poem: ‘Earscape’

Jamie McKendrick, 21 April 2016

Milton lost his sight in libertyes defence and I my hearing in oyles pursuit employed by factors who failed to plug our ears with down I was the fuse-and-dynamite boy who blew up bits of Derbyshire with blasts that lunged through the earth’s crust barrelling out below to stun the blind mole in its burrow and bend the funicles of beetles antennae so now alone or in a crowd I hear the...

Poem: ‘The Hunters’

Jamie McKendrick, 5 February 2015

We that have been hunting all the day are mighty tired, our hair is dank with sweat and by our hunting helmets plastered flat.

As days of hunting go, this must be counted a good day: the horns blew loud and the dogs barked hard as though they knew it was more for them

than us we went out hunting the wild beast all day – so they could teach him just how tame they were, and how wrong to...

As a novelist Giorgio Bassani is both allusive and elusive. Allusive, because he makes a habit of writing as if all the objects of his attention, from the topography of Ferrara, his hometown in...

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Someone Else’s: translating Cesare Pavese

Matthew Reynolds, 6 October 2005

Does an Italian poet need translating even when he writes in English? Two of the poems in Disaffections make you wonder. Pavese addressed them to Constance Dowling, the American actress with whom...

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Imagining the Suburbs

Stan Smith, 9 January 1992

Whole systems of thought have been founded on the French language’s inability to distinguish differing from deferring. Perhaps Napoleon is to blame (‘Not tonight, Josephine’)....

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