A SHAPE IN THE NET
Poems by Fergus Chadwick
The themes of transformation and camouflage give unity to this first collection by a 47-year-old author who won joint second prize in the 1983 National Poetry Competition. The volume includes a sequence of poems deriving from the paintings and life of Vincent van Gough. Chadwick's is a poetry of transforming vision focused on all the bright particulars of the natural world: gardens, trees, weather, light, birds, and animals. He collects 'all unnoticed things' and believes 'There's no honesty in razzmatazz'. Poems within this collection first appeared in Agenda, Chapman, Encounter, Orbis, Out-poets, Poetry South-East 8, and Weyfarers. Some were broadcast on Poetry Now (BBC Radio 3).
The Argument from Forgotten Corners
Cars back up to this hedge and puff
poisonous plumes on the leaves,
which have no choice but to grow there.
The main road wafts a crisp-bag
onto the tresses of ivy-leaved toadflax,
beneath which is home for some few
second-class insects confined
to a tent-city of mouldy brown leaves.
I collect all unnoticed things.
Wherever an old bed is dumped,
and green shadows come and go
on its striped ticking, wherever
and old blue pump smelling of oil
goes rusty in a by-road shed,
still loyal to discontinued amenities,
I take up the argument.
There’s no honesty in razzmatazz.
who cares if music demands white tie
and tails, champagne and limousines?
The creeper, bearding the deserted house
from top to gutter, knows more
in C minor than buyers rehearsing
postures of proprietorship,
pacing its dusty boards on a Saturday.
I reserve for last the magnificent
scooter, tucked away behind the view,
sunk to the brakes in lisping sand,
going nowhere on a summer dune,
sans wheels, sans paint, sans everything.
A SHAPE IN THE NET
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.35 post free to Associate Members)
Cover painting: Koshiro Onchi - Poème no. 8: Butterfly Season. Reproduced by courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum. © British Museum.
Publication: SPRING 1993 (64 pages laminated paperback)