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The Choir Outing
ISBN: 978 1 903039 97 7
Categories: 21st Century, British
Published: April 2010
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Even if you love maps, leave them behind;
Try to be helpless and inquisitive.
Eschew signposts, landmarks. Take
The unassuming path, always; cross
The unpromising field: it will take you
Out of your own reach into something
That becomes you.
from 'To Go for a Walk'
Nigel Forde's poems explore those feelings, memories and landscapes, glimpsed and momentary, that haunt us with an insistent need to be questioned or commemorated. In monologues and elegies, reflections on art, intimate domestic lyrics, love poems and jokes, The Choir Outing meditates on surfaces and depths with technical assurance and a delight in the moment’s gift.
Nigel Forde's poetry is full of grace, ghosts and good music: music in every sense, since he has an acute ear for cadence and form generally. His poetry is elegiac, a kind of pastoral to the empty sky and the warm dark spaces of nature, but there is wit too. The Choir Outing is a deeply English book, like a late Shakespearean romance: a Forest of Arden complete with the paraphernalia of the modern mind but filled with its own elegant, nostalgic but living music.
Nigel Forde is a poet of love and nature who, with a good deal of humour, takes time to mature his poems before serving them. If, like old wine, they sometimes come in new bottles, that's all the more reason for trying them on your palate to see in how many surprising and various ways they please.
Cover image: Kenneth Steel, poster for British Rail 1956 (detail). Copyright © National Railway Museum pictorial collection / SSPL. Cover design: StephenRaw.com
A Cold and Frosty Morning
The December Ghosts
The Choir Outing
Littoral: Bridgwater Bay
Everyman’s Enquire Within
To Go for a Walk
To Light a Fire
To Prepare for Sleep
To Choose a House
To Visit a Gallery
Front Free Endpapers
Farewell, My Lovely
Taking Alexander for a Walk
So It Seems
Nativity: With Music
Much Ado at Old Hall
Poem for Tamsin
Wives of the Great Composers
Anna Magdalena Bach
For a Few Seconds the Bedroom Could Be the
Sistine Chapel Ceiling
On First Looking into Photographs of Hardy’s Dorset
Home Again, Home Again
Two for Meg
A Piece of A4 Paper
John Did Not Know How True A Word He Was Speaking
Postscript to the Guardian Review of Jane Eyre
The Last Seven Pictures on the Instamatic
Nigel Forde's poetry is, as the Hungarian-born peer George Szirtes says, 'deeply English'. read more
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