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Autumn

Vicki Feaver, 7 February 1980

... We are waking early now – filled with the urgency small animals must feel as they prepare for winter. I had forgotten how cold it would be – like coming back after a summer of wandering lusts to an old lover. And how beautiful – the corners of roofs floating in a white mist like pieces of wreckage; afternoons when the sun burns through – dries the wings of dying wasps; light of an awful clarity ...

Right Hand

Vicki Feaver, 21 November 1991

... Ever since, in an act of reckless middle age, I broke my wrist learning to skate, my right hand refuses to sleep with me. It performs the day’s tasks stiffly, stoically; but at night slides out from the duvet to hollow a nest in the pillow like an animal gone to ground in a hole in the hedge whose instinct says have nothing to do with heart, lungs, legs, the dangerous head ...

The Elements at Spartylea

Vicki Feaver, 19 February 1981

... Earth We’ve abandoned the garden – all those wasted hours! Only the poppies flourish. They make a virtue of scant soil, find nourishment in stones; on stems you’d think could scarcely bear the weight their green buds fatten. Air A good drying day: strong wind and sun. The trees are pruning themselves – twigs and broken branches lying at their feet ...

The Red Cupboard

Vicki Feaver, 20 April 1995

... After Pierre Bonnard The woman’s cupboard, she’s stocked with jellies, chutneys, pickled limes and bottles of blue-skinned plums that just to look at is to taste their sweet green flesh. Inset in the wall, the inside’s painted the red of petals – poppies, geraniums – of dream blood. When she opens the white door it’s like opening herself ...

The Crack

Vicki Feaver, 29 August 1991

... cut right through the house: a black wiggly line you could poke a finger into, a deep gash seeping fine black dust. It didn’t appear overnight. For a long time it was such a fine line we went up and down stairs oblivious to the stresses that were splitting our walls and ceilings apart. And even when it thickened and darkened, we went on not seeing, or seeing but believing the crack would heal itself, if dry earth was to blame, a winter of rain would seal its edges ...

Two Poems

Vicki Feaver, 19 April 1990

... STC First there are the jokes about how it’s going on the ‘South Col’, or the ‘Big C’; but half serious, as if you really had returned from inching your way up a vertical rockface, or sailing single-handed across his painted ocean. Then I ask about them – those friends of yours I never meet, but you are now so intimate with you know the day-to-day state of souls and bowels ...

Two Poems

Vicki Feaver, 27 February 1992

... Crab Apple Jelly Every year you said it wasn’t worth the trouble – you’d better things to do with your time – and it made you furious when the jars were sold at the church fête for less than the cost of the sugar. And every year you drove into the lanes around Calverton to search for the wild trees whose apples looked as red and as sweet as cherries, and tasted sharper than gooseberries ...

Moving Pictures

Claude Rawson, 16 July 1981

English Subtitles 
by Peter Porter.
Oxford, 56 pp., £3.50, March 1981, 0 19 211942 7
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Unplayed Music 
by Carol Rumens.
Secker, 53 pp., £4.50, February 1981, 9780436439001
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Close Relatives 
by Vicki Feaver.
Secker, 64 pp., £4.50, February 1981, 0 436 15185 5
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... Gifts’, ‘Birthdays’, ‘Double Bed’, ‘Mondays’ chart this territory movingly. Vicki Feaver’s book has the same publisher and format as Carol Rumens’s. Some of the poems have similar themes: death of a parent, parents and children, the tentative loosening of friendship or love, sentimental journeys or travelogues with an erotic ...

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