Carcanet Press
Quote of the Day
an admirable concern to keep lines open to writing in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and America.
Seamus Heaney

Collected Poems and Translations

Robert Wells

Collected Poems and Translations by Robert Wells
RRP: GBP£ 14.95
Discount: 10%
You Save: GBP£ 1.50

Price: GBP£ 13.45
Available Add to basket
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 847770 11 0
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Translation
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: September 2009
216 x 135 x 23 mm
320 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
  • Robert Wells writes poems of memory, a memory so intense it conjures places, objects and desires with their original force and freshness. The high points of a life are celebrated, and personal memories and the common memories of a culture are brought together.

    This collection of poetry and translations draws together the threads of his work in eight linked sections of sensuous evocation. There are poems set on the coast of Exmoor and in the hill country of central Italy; some concerned with erotic friendship, with travel and landscape. In the final two sections, his celebrated translations of Virgil's Georgics and the Idylls of Theocritus fuse lived experience with a deep knowledge of the original texts.

    Cover image: The Fig Gatherers by Aristide Maillol (Paris and DACS, London 2009). Cover design by StephenRaw.com.

    Contents

    Foreword   


    1


    The Winter’s Task
    The Stream (‘Inopportune desire!’)    
    Bonfire (‘The fire burns deepest at dusk’)    
    His Thirst    
    Love’s Default    
    The Colonist    
    Emblem    
    The Hero    
    ‘Life was not in your hands’    
    The Will    
    A Caution    
    New Year    
    The Young Woodman    
    Woodman’s Song    
    On the Hillside    
    On the Doorstep    
    The Axehandle    
    At the Pathside    
    After Haymaking    
    Haymakers at Dusk    
    Haymaker    
    At the Back of his Mind    
    Impasse    
    The Day (‘I stand on the doorstep’)    
    Morning (‘Like mist from water’)    
    At Dusk    
    Meridian
    Vesperal    
    A Fantasy    
    Larchtrees    
    ‘A patch of grass’    
    ‘The fogbound dusk’    
    A Stag at Sea    
    The Fawn    
    ‘At the head of the coomb’    
    Poaching on Exmoor    
    Clearing Ground    
    Bonfire (‘The heaviness of the waste’)    
    Six Emblems    
    A Motto    
    After the Fire    
    Making a Bonfire    
    ‘When days open’    
    The Forester    
    Ashton    
    A Memory of Exmoor    
    Before Sleep    

    2


    Further on Down    
    ‘Sure in its strength’    
    Cattlemen    
    Breakfast    
    Shape of Air    
    Vendemmia    
    Asleep    
    Contadino (‘He goes under the deep-coloured shelter’)    
    The Mill    
    The Bathing Place (‘He turns feeling the straw’)    
    Afield    
    The Attributes    
    ‘O wilful spirit’    
    A Dream    
    Off the Path    
    Deus Loci    
    The Unnamed Pool    
    At Vigna La Corte    
    The Pool (‘There is no reflection’)    
    A Greeting    
    At Midday    
    ‘Nothing but the flicker of leaf shadow’    
    For Pasolini    
    Derelict Landscape    
    The Last of Summer    
    Autumnal    
    Seasonal    
    Pastoral    
    Shadowtail    
    Summer Noon    
    Autumn Night    
    Summer    
    Osier Bank    
    A Storm    
    Broken Weather    
    Outside    57
    After Football    
    Contadino (‘I am not these: stones, a handful of earth’)    
    Hill-Path, Meadow, Cascade    
    Orchid Field    
    The Valley    
    Alone    
    At Moonrise    
    Vintage    
    The Bathing Place (‘The body, wearied by labour’)    
    Hang-Glider    
    Bather    
    On the Same    
    Diving In    
    Torrent    
    A Last Look    
    Further Notes    
    At Ponte Margheruta    
    Youth    

    3   Monte Gennaro Epigrams, One and Two


    The Pool (‘What can the water be’)    
    The Day (‘Slow climb through darkness’)    
    The Men who Built the Paths    
    The Paths    
    Morning Moments    
    Sunrise (‘Your face still blurred with youth’)    
    ‘I had no way’    
    Hillside    
    The Bathers    
    Monte Gennaro    
    Two Hill-Pools    
    Ruined Shrine    
    The Spinney    
    Panic    
    The Stream (‘Pouring of water through the night’)    
    Bather and Horseshoe
    The Last of Monte Gennaro    

    4   Sabine Portraits


    Antonio    
    Franco    
    Giovanni: Recollections of the Mill    
    Giuseppe    
    Maurizio    
    Adamo    
    A Sequel    
    Improvements    
    Angelo Hang-Gliding    
    La Risecca    
    Castagneto    
    Maria    
    Elisabetta    
    Near Civitella    
    Licenza    


    5


    The Trance     
    Morning (‘I watch the shadows of trees’)    
    ‘Runner, unwearied’    
    Fantasy    
    Two Shepherd Boys with Dogs Fighting    
    Night Piece (‘You have freed me ’)    
    Bedsit in September
    The Kites    
    While Dancing    
    The Slope    
    Night Piece (‘Your sanity was my presence’)    
    Bengal Nights    
    Sybarites    
    The Cookbook    
    Harangue    
    To Let    
    Traces    
    Indus    
    The Enjoyment    
    A Blazon
    Stressed Syllables    
    The Lake    
    Five Sketches    
    A Likeness    
    Before a Journey    
    Tufan Express    
    Small-Hours Stop
    At the Hill-Station
    Hill-Station Souvenir    
    An Ending    
    There   


    6


    The Last Caliph    
    Virginity    
    Waterfall    
    ‘Hardly dwelt in’    
    The First Thing    
    Islamic Shrine    
    Sassanian Ruin    
    Median Palace    
    No Village Was Too Remote    
    A Coin    
    Bread and Brotherhood    
    Middle Age    
    The Fault    
    At the Well    
    The Pillar    
    Paestum Quatrain    
    Gran Sasso    
    The Fields of Self    
    Hellenistic Torso    
    The Plane Tree    
    The Statue    
    Aspromonte    
    Leaving    
    Common Sparrow    
    A Robin    
    Richard Wilson in Wales    
    Palm Leaves    
    The Alfred Jewel    
    Chinese Dish    
    Angel    
    A Photograph    
    If Once    
    The Icknield Way
    Sunrise (‘Thin warmth toward which the body turns’)    
    Epigram    
    The Knot    
    Departure    
    The Changeling    
    Three Oxford Poems    
    The Bravest Jump    
    At Old Hall    
    Mr Thewes    
    Old Boy    
    The Thirteenth Book    
    Middle-Aged Query    
    Paysage Moralisé
    Portrait of a Virtuoso    
    By the Loire    

    TRANSLATIONS

    7   Virgil, The Georgics


    Georgic 1    
    Georgic 2    
    Georgic 3    
    Georgic 4    

    8   Theocritus, The Idylls


    1    The Passion of Daphnis    
    2    Pharmaceutria    
    3    The Lovesongs    
    4    The Herdsmen    
    5    Goatherd and Shepherd    
    6    Damoetas and Daphnis    
    7    The Harvest Festival    
    10    The Reapers    
    11    The Cyclops    
    12    The Touchstone    
    13    Hylas    
    14    Aeschines and Thyonichus    
    15    The Festival of Adonis    
    16    The Graces    
    17    Encomium to Ptolemy    
    18    Helen’s Epithalamium    
    22    The Dioscuri    
    24    The Childhood of Heracles    
    26    The Bacchae    
    28    The Distaff    
    29    Drinking Song    
    30    The Fever    


    NOTES AND INDEXES


    Notes on the Poems    
    A Note on Translation    
    The Georgics    
    The Idylls    
    Index of Titles    
    Index of First Lines    

    'Robert Wells understands how finely man and nature are moulded to each other... The healing loneliness of hills and waters, and the solitary figures who move among them - bathers, wood-cutters, hay harvesters - are the setting and characters of Wells's poems.'
    George Mackay Brown
    'Wells is a quiet poet... he inherits the tender, threatening profundity of Edward Thomas.'
    Anne Stevenson
    'Robert Wells's language is exact, the experience of the poem is deeply gone through, there is a constant desire to adhere to the truth as he apprehended it rather than to glamorize it. The inexpressible becomes expressed. At one point I started marking my favourite poems, but I like so many of them that I gave up.'
    Thom Gunn
    Praise for Robert Wells 'Robert Wells understands how finely man and nature are moulded to each other...The healing loneliness of hills and waters, and the solitary figures who move among them...are the setting and characters of Wells' poems.'
    George Mackay Brown.
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog The Poet and the Liberal read more Why Kandinsky? read more Poet's Corner read more Teaching the Sonnet for the Poetry School read more Casual Labour read more In All My Holy Mountain read more
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2017 Carcanet Press Ltd