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The Word Pavilion
ISBN: 978 1 857545 12 8
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: May 2001
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Ah, Thomas Chatterton, I hear
They cut you short,
Those tittering, merry English,
Their phrasing sold, imagination bought.
from 'The Glummonging'
The Word Pavilion is a dazzling
construction: two-tiered, each tier divided into sections which, while they harmonise with one another, constitute structures in them-selves. To a selection of 110 poems from his eight earlier books, Middleton adds the new collection.
The poems have no programme, but their lines, straight or zigzag, crossed or spiral, are connected in the first poem, 'Children's Corner', and again in the penultimate one, with its jocose
intimations of death. Among recurrent motifs are birds, directly in 'Karin's Parakeet', or
allusively in the poem spoken by secretly avian Byzantine soldiers revisiting their fort in the here and now. The humble artist - as demiurge in distress - also figures in a number of poems.
The Word Pavilion is a journey, now exuberant, now straggling, into the finite, on the way to
boundlessness, now fast, now slow, and it ends ('Envoi') at the broken apple tree where a flycatcher has his haunt.
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