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The Choir Outing

Nigel Forde

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Categories: 21st Century, British
Imprint: OxfordPoets
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (80 pages)
(Pub. Apr 2010)
Out of Stock
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  • Contents
  • 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.
    George Szirtes

    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.
    Anne Stevenson

    Cover image: Kenneth Steel, poster for British Rail 1956 (detail). Copyright © National Railway Museum pictorial collection / SSPL. Cover design:


    A Cold and Frosty Morning  
    The December Ghosts   
    The Choir Outing   
    Littoral: Bridgwater Bay   
    Cottage Garden   
    Going Home   
    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   
        To Remember   
    Front Free Endpapers   
    Singing School   
    Yellow Pages   
    Farewell, My Lovely   
    Taking Alexander for a Walk   
    So It Seems   
    Nativity: With Music   
    Gaudy Night   
    Much Ado at Old Hall   
    Poem for Tamsin   
    Wives of the Great Composers
        Mrs Dowland   
        Xenia Cage   
        Maria Haydn   
        Wilhelmine Webern   
        Anna Magdalena Bach   
        Cosima Wagner   
        Kate?ina Smetana   
        Lucrezia Palestrina   
        Marta Bartók   
        Isobel Holst   
        Dorothy Howells   
        Aino Sibelius   
        Maria Gesualdo   
    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     
    Many Mansions    
    The Shivers    
    Little Campstone    
    Scherzo Fantastique    
    The Flaw    
    Two for Meg    
    A Piece of A4 Paper    
    Passing By    
    Under Orion    
    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 was born in 1944 and educated at Grammar School and Oxford University. Originally intending to be a musician, he sang in the Collegium Musicum, played in the University Orchestra, the St. Catherine's String Quartet and took lessons from Jean Pougnet whom he met while playing in the Dolmetsch Ensemble ... read more
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