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JONES, Frederick

Congreve’s Balsamic Elixir

Paperback

1871471494

Original Cover Price:

7.95

Drysdale,-Between-Dryden-&-04

CONGREVE’S BALSAMIC ELIXIR
Poems by Frederick Jones

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Congreve’s Balsamic Elixir is a wittily observant first full collection. The subject matter of the poems ranges from ‘Schrodinger’s Cat’ to ‘Walking in Sibelius Park’; from ‘Mandlebrot’ to ‘Orkney Tombstones’: “No manners at all, has Death, / won’t hang on for a minute / while you just nip to the toilet . . .”

Frederick Jones lectures in Latin and Ancient History at the University of Liverpool. He was the 1992 winner of the Felicia Hemans Prize for Lyrical Poetry. His prizewinning poems in the 1991 Northern Poetry Competition were published in the anthology Northern Poetry Two, and a selection of his poems was published in Peterloo Preview 3 (1993).

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Orkney Tombstones

No manners at all, has Death,
won’t hang on for a minute
while you just nip to the toilet,
just puts the boot in in front of your friends
or at the theatre, and you lose control
and fill your pants; meanwhile he wastes
a busload, or decimates a continent
with an unphotogenic disease.
His performance has the total
autonomy of great art as he goes on
composing his masterpiece, the epic
Complete Catalogue of the Human Race -
musicians, short order cooks, irritating
younger brothers, the fair haired
and hazel eyed, the old and maimed,
erotic dancers, chartists: everyone
is registered in a niche of their own
like Herodotus’ list of the dead
at Thermopylae, or the plaques
and memorials in this distant island
Cathedral, its red stone wormed out
by rain and sea air, their deaths
in foreign parts gathered and treasured,
missionaries, traders, explorers,
along the walls one Canto will transcribe.

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CONGREVE’S BALSAMIC ELIXIR
Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Kristaps Gelzis, ‘Last Night’ (‘Sista Natken’), 1989-91, Serigraph on aluminium. Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki.
Publication: AUTUMN 1995 (61 pages laminated paperback)