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15 July 1982
... In the summer of the year 1792, the author, then in ill health, had retired to a lonely farm-house between Porlock and Linton ...’ Coleridge At first, there was no cause for suspicion, the gentleman rooted in solitude had taken possession of a small farm, and rarely showed. We’d seen him walk the lane, encumbered by a trunk, on arrival, a scholar, so we heard, and indisposed, given over ...

Making up

Julian Symons

15 August 1991
Lipstick, Sex and Poetry 
by Jeremy Reed.
Peter Owen, 119 pp., £14.95, June 1991, 0 7206 0817 1
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A poet could not but be gay 
by James Kirkup.
Peter Owen, 240 pp., £16.95, June 1991, 0 7206 0823 6
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There was a young man from Cardiff 
by Dannie Abse.
Hutchinson, 211 pp., £12.99, April 1991, 0 09 174757 0
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String of Beginners 
by Michael Hamburger.
Skoob Books, 338 pp., £10.99, May 1991, 1 871438 66 7
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... The first page of JeremyReed’s ‘autobiographical exploration of sexuality’ finds him with ‘a red gash of lipstick’ on his mouth, pondering whether to take the ten steps down to a beach where men sunbathe nude. He is ...
23 May 1991
The Coastguard’s House 
by Eugenio Montale, translated by Jeremy Reed.
Bloodaxe, 223 pp., £7.95, December 1990, 1 85224 100 4
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... own concerns. ‘I have tried to write live English and to do what my authors might have done if they were writing their poems now and in America.’ It remains an attractive blueprint, and one that JeremyReed has followed in his own work on Montale: ‘What I have tried to achieve in this book is a series of poems in which the poet’s intentions are placed within a context of late 20th-century ...

Love in the Ruins

Nicolas Tredell

8 October 1992
Out of the Rain 
by Glyn Maxwell.
Bloodaxe, 112 pp., £6.95, June 1992, 1 85224 193 4
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Body Politic 
by Tony Flynn.
Bloodaxe, 60 pp., £5.95, June 1992, 1 85224 129 2
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by Linda France.
Bloodaxe, 80 pp., £5.95, June 1992, 1 85224 178 0
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Red-Haired Android 
by Jeremy Reed.
Grafton, 280 pp., £7.99, July 1992, 9780586091845
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by Peter Robinson, with an essay by Peter Swaab.
Robert Jones, 36 pp., £9.95, July 1992, 0 9514240 2 5
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... Irishness’ by making Mary Josephine Travers say: ‘I was only a young girl then, green / as shamrock.’ But these are small lapses in a quietly accomplished collection. In Red-Haired Android, JeremyReed attacks ‘the poetry world’, which he sees as dominated by ‘exponents of the ordinary, /opponents of the visionary’: Their safety-net is Larkin’s provincial de-sexualised climacteric ...

Here comes Amy

Christopher Reid

17 April 1986
What the light was like 
by Amy Clampitt.
Faber, 110 pp., £4, February 1986, 0 571 13814 4
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Facing Nature 
by John Updike.
Deutsch, 110 pp., £9.95, January 1986, 0 233 97798 8
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by Jeremy Reed.
Cape, 128 pp., £4.95, November 1985, 0 224 02346 2
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by Tony Harrison.
Bloodaxe, 36 pp., £8.95, December 1985, 0 906427 98 3
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Dramatic Verse: 1973-1985 
by Tony Harrison.
Bloodaxe, 448 pp., £20, December 1985, 0 906427 81 9
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Sky Ray Lolly 
by Fiona Pitt-Kethley.
Chatto, 64 pp., £3.95, April 1986, 0 7011 3046 6
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The Tower of Glass 
by Fiona Pitt-Kethley.
Mariscat, £3, September 1985, 0 946588 07 4
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Making cocoa for Kingsley Amis 
by Wendy Cope.
Faber, 65 pp., £7.95, March 1986, 0 571 13977 9
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... quantity or misjudged line-break. His manner could hardly be more different, even in the odes, with their occasional grandiloquence and antique turn of phrase, from the busy hurtling fortissimo that JeremyReed contrives to sustain through so many of the 63 poems in Nero. Measured by quantity and density, this book is, to say the least, impressive. The most satisfying pieces here are those that cast ...


David Gascoyne: Notebook, New Year 1991

25 January 1996
... to catch 4.45 plane back to Southampton. Sudden turbulence threw cup of tea all over us. Got home before seven local time. Saturday 5: Invitation from Joe Allard of Essex University to read with JeremyReed at the Colchester Arts Festival. Went shopping at local supermarket after lunch. Dull TV. Made asparagus and prawn soufflé for supper. Tuesday 8: Watched first episode of new series Twin Peaks ...

Two Jackals on a Leash

Jamie McKendrick: Eugenio Montale

1 July 1999
Eugenio Montale: Collected Poems 1920-54 
translated by Jonathan Galassi.
Carcanet, 626 pp., £29, November 1998, 1 85754 425 0
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... and erotic: ‘for Caesar’s I am/And wild for to hold though I seem tame’. Among Montale’s many translators, Arrowsmith and Galassi are more faithful to the original; Robert Lowell and JeremyReed take greater licence. Galassi’s translations ‘sound’ better than Arrowsmith’s and have a more reliable sense of what Montale wrote than either Lowell’s or Reed’s. But only Lowell, in the ...

Making sense

Denis Donoghue

4 October 1984
A Wave 
by John Ashbery.
Carcanet, 89 pp., £4.95, August 1984, 9780856355479
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Secret Narratives 
by Andrew Motion.
Salamander, 46 pp., £6, March 1983, 0 907540 29 5
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Liberty Tree 
by Tom Paulin.
Faber, 78 pp., £4, June 1983, 0 05 711302 5
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111 Poems 
by Christopher Middleton.
Carcanet, 185 pp., £5.95, April 1983, 0 85635 457 0
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New and Selected Poems 
by James Michie.
Chatto, 64 pp., £3.95, September 1983, 0 7011 2723 6
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By the Fisheries 
by Jeremy Reed.
Cape, 79 pp., £4, March 1984, 0 224 02154 0
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by George Mackay Brown.
Chatto, 48 pp., £3.95, September 1983, 0 7011 2736 8
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... through his house: On step and rail the sunbeams slyly     Hint at somewhere else. So many things to slip on and tumble   Down staircases, down years ... If there is a perennial Romanticism, JeremyReed’s poems maintain it. He puts himself, without apology, at the centre of his experience, and regards morality as his promise to pay attention. What he pays attention to, in By the Fisheries, is ...

Someone Else’s

Matthew Reynolds: Translating Cesare Pavese

6 October 2005
Disaffections: Complete Poems 1930-50 
by Cesare Pavese, translated by Geoffrey Brock.
Carcanet, 370 pp., £14.95, April 2004, 1 85754 738 1
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The Faber Book of 20th-Century Italian Poems 
edited by Jamie McKendrick.
Faber, 167 pp., £12.99, June 2004, 0 571 19700 0
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... L’anguilla, la sirena’, ‘The eel, the siren’) and ends with another translatorly leap, twinning the eel with the gleam in somebody’s eye. Of the many English versions (Robert Lowell, JeremyReed, Jonathan Galassi, Tom Paulin and so on), McKendrick rightly chooses Paul Muldoon’s. Inseparably inventive and close, his ‘Eel’ is like its namesake: it departs from its origin only as a ...

Short Cuts

Stephen Sedley: The Supreme Court’s Judgment

2 March 2017
... into existence by Parliament through primary legislation, which gave that source an overriding supremacy in the hierarchy of domestic law sources.This looks pretty impregnable until you turn to Lord Reed’s dissenting judgment. Standing by the principle of parliamentary supremacy, Reed argues that what Parliament enacted in and after 1972is inherently conditional … on the UK’s membership of the ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy​ Harding: ‘Inside the Dream Palace’

6 February 2014
... is, who haven’t we encountered? We bump into Whitman, Hart Crane, all the Abstract Expressionists, Herbert Huncke plus any given Beat, all of the New York School, Bob Dylan, Nico, John Cale, Lou Reed, Malcolm McLaren, Patti Smith and Mapplethorpe, William Eggleston, and … hang on, here’s Walker Evans. And there, not exactly flitting past, goes the bulky shadow of Henry James. Tippins has ...

Pick the small ones

Marina Warner: Girls Are Rubbish

17 February 2005
Never Marry a Woman with Big Feet: Women in Proverbs from around the World 
by Mineke Schipper.
Yale, 422 pp., £35, April 2004, 0 300 10249 6
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... corruption has tainted even this Eden. As analysts of misogyny, they soon rally; they know it’s important to work with the grain of tradition: ‘Better the devil you know,’ they mutter. ‘The reed that stands up to the wind breaks, the reed that bends survives,’ puts in Greer – a nugget from the world reserves of crone wisdom. Proverbs are ‘the instruction of thy father and … the law ...
22 February 1996
by Peter Ackroyd.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 399 pp., £20, September 1995, 1 85619 278 4
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Collected Edition of William Blake’s Illuminated Books: Vol I: Jerusalem 
editor David Bindman, edited by Morton D. Paley.
Tate Gallery, 304 pp., £48, August 1991, 1 85437 066 9
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Collected Edition of William Blake’s Illuminated Books: Vol. II: Songs of Innocence and Experience 
series editor David Bindman, edited by Andrew Lincoln.
Tate Gallery, 210 pp., £39.50, August 1991, 1 85437 068 5
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Collected Edition of William Blake’s Illuminated Books: Vol III: The Early Illuminated Books 
series editor David Bindman, edited by Morris Eaves, Robert Essick and Joseph Viscomi.
Tate Gallery, 288 pp., £48, August 1993, 1 85437 119 3
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Collected Edition of William Blake’s Illuminated Books: Vol. IV: The Continental Prophecies: America, Europe, The Song of Los 
editor David Bindman, edited by D.W. Dörbecker.
Tate Gallery, 368 pp., £50, May 1995, 1 85437 154 1
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Collected Edition of William Blake’s Illuminated Books: Vol. V: Milton, a Poem 
series editor David Bindman, edited by Robert Essick and Joseph Viscomi.
Tate Gallery, 224 pp., £48, November 1993, 1 85437 121 5
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Collected Edition of William Blake’s Illuminated Books: Vol. VI: The Urizen Books 
 editor David Bindman, edited by David Worrall.
Tate Gallery, 232 pp., £39.50, May 1995, 9781854371553
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... hutch, his minders begged for copies of Barbara Pym, while Gregory spoke wistfully of Philip Larkin. Denton Welch was William Burroughs’s main intellectual squeeze. Ferlinghetti had high hopes for JeremyReed. The Beats were now heritage fodder, a potential Bloomsbury group. There was even talk of James Ivory optioning a Neal Cassady property. I wondered, thinking of Blake’s formative experiences ...

Interview with a Dead Man

Jeremy​ Harding: Witches of Impalahoek

20 June 2013
Witchcraft and a Life in the New South Africa 
by Isak Niehaus.
Cambridge, 239 pp., £60, December 2012, 978 1 107 01628 6
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... After he’d buried Rebecca, Jimmy and his brothers called back the original diviner and asked him to have a second crack at their father. The diviner went to Rebecca’s grave with a hollow green reed containing potions, which he drove into the soil: the wind, it was explained, would blow through the reed like breath through a flute and ‘call the witch to follow the deceased’. But Luckson ...

He’s Bad, She’s Mad

Mary Hannity: HMP Holloway

9 May 2019
Bad Girls: The Rebels and Renegades of Holloway Prison 
by Caitlin Davies.
John Murray, 373 pp., £10.99, February 2019, 978 1 4736 4776 3
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... described the original building as ‘a devilish hole, derelict, run-down, dirty and overcrowded’. Despite its external appearance, the interior of the old prison had been radial, on the lines of Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon, maximising surveillance and control. Now something not so explicitly disciplinarian was needed to suit the liberal discourse of women’s rehabilitation. ‘Most women and ...

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