Sylvia Kantaris

Sylvia Kantaris’s collection of poems The Tenth Muse came out in 1983.

Poem: ‘Mud Honeymoon’

Sylvia Kantaris, 18 July 1985

The tide had drawn the river out and made their bridal bed immaculate. Too late now to stop. Already they had grown amphibious and entered slithering and stripping off Age after Age of formal wedding-dress to reach their satin element of mud, their skin a sheen of mud, their belly mud on mud, their pulse a simple wedding march of mud.

They were not seen again although it’s said some...

Poem: ‘Floral Tribute’

Sylvia Kantaris, 7 March 1985

They have arranged themselves like show animals: the tulips sleek, blood-colour; the slightly fierce carnations; the double-daffodils with green tongues. You’d think they should have squirmed, shrouded in tissue-paper to be delivered when they are so immaculately groomed, their stalks taut and strong enough to stand up to most weathers.

They seem to have stretched since they arrived and...

Poem: ‘Mothballs’

Sylvia Kantaris, 18 October 1984

Things had to be preserved – embroideries, best dresses, lacy curtains, tablecloths too delicate and beautiful to use except in dreams perhaps. But in real life they just stayed, folded, in a shroud of sheets, protected from the moths by napthalene. Each cupboard, chest and wardrobe leaked a heady scent of mothballs. Things would keep.

Underneath the soil now, in her best at last, her...


John Kerrigan, 13 October 1988

August is the cruellest month, breeding tailbacks on the Dover Road and logjams in every departure lounge. Travel reverts to travail, stirring dull roots in trepalium – that classical...

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With the Woolwich

C.H. Sisson, 18 July 1985

Roy Fuller was born in 1912, under what conjunction of planets I do not know, but the place of his birth was somewhere between Manchester and Oldham. His next stop was Blackpool, where he...

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