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Body Language

Jon Stallworthy

Cover Picture of Body Language
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Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (64 pages)
(Pub. Sep 2004)
£9.95 £8.96
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Contents
  • ... I tasted what the eyes said, heard
    hands that were strangers talk as twins with no
    word spoken. Incandescent, the word
    was flesh, no longer the shadow
    of what it signified.
            from 'A Foreign Tongue'

    Body language and the body of language - from the first words in the first garden to the last words of last night's lovers - are the entwined themes of Jon Stallworthy's new collection of poems, his first since 1995. The centrepiece is 'Skyhorse', an ambitious poem for voices that finds in the White Horse on the Berkshire Downs an enduring presence through the turbulence of three millennia of English history. The book's second part is a candid, passionate sequence of elegies and love poems.
    Table of Contents


    In the Beginning


    1 The first priest of the White Horse, c.1000 BC

    2 Priest and poet, c.970 BC

    3 Poet of the shield-wall, AD 871

    4 Wandering Scholar, 13th century

    5 Antiquary, 18th century

    6 Rifleman (discharged), 52nd Regiment, 18 June 1832

    7 Mother, 1899

    8 Colonel and others, 1905

    9 Homeguard, 1940

    lOEx-homeguard, 1946

    11 Wandering Scholar, 1999/2000



    Before Setting Out

    A Ferry for Bishop Jim

    The White Cloud


    The Motor Vessel Anichka

    Le Violon D'Ingres

    A Foreign Tongue


    Taking Breath




    What's in a Name?


    Hunting the Lark

    Osip Mandelstam Proposes a Toast

    A Word with History

    A Round

    Edward Thomas's Fob Watch

    In the House of the Poet


    Jon Stallworthy, born in 1935, was educated at Rugby, in the Royal West African Frontier Force, and at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he won the Newdigate Prize of Poetry. A Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature, he is a Professor of English Literature at ... read more
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