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Borrowed Landscapes

Peter Scupham

Borrowed Landscapes by Peter Scupham
10% off all versions
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (88 pages)
(Pub. Aug 2011)
£9.95 £8.96
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(Pub. Aug 2011)
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(Pub. Aug 2011)
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  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Contents
  • The mill grinds the summer air
    to invisible bread, and the bridge circles the summer
    in half-moons of rich, cool water and molten blue;
    echo on echo the years elide and shimmer,
    pass themselves carelessly on, and under, and through

         from 'Reaches: 1946'

    Borrowed Landscapes, Peter Scupham's first book since his acclaimed Collected Poems of 2002, explores a hinterland of enchantment and nightmare, a landscape whose contours reach back to Shakespeare's England by way of two world wars and a coming of age shaped by the Suez crisis and the Cold War. The barbarities of the twentieth century haunt the shadows; there is comfort in the graces of domestic life, in friendships and long memories, in cats and gardens and eccentricities. A sequence of poems honours the life of a scholarly father-in-law who fought in the Great War. In a parallel autobiographical sequence, 'Playtime in a Cold City', three undergraduate years in the 1950s become a touchstone for a lost pastoral, before the 'fields of youth' fade to memory, 'the lit faces of dead friends, / laughing'.

    Generous, witty and shrewd, Borrowed Landscapes affirms Scupham's belief that when a 'murderous crew' of sorcerer's apprentices 'turn is to was', there is 'only a pen to turn was to is'.

    The Old Type Tray
    Figures in a Landscape, 1944
    The Way
    Out of Season
    The Singing Field
    Out There
    Three Evening Pastorals
    A Civil War
        Wildstrubel, 1913
        Christmas: Hanover, France, Cambridge, 1914
        Adams Road, 1915
        42nd Motorised Ambulance Company, 1916-1918
        Obiter Scripta: France, August-November 1918
        Anthropologies: London and Africa, 1920-1953
        Torre House, Harpenden, 1963
        Wetten, November 2006
    The Hunt
    Shredded with Rose
    Cat and Mouse
    A Merry-go-round for Megan
    Borrowed Landscapes
    Seventy Years a Showman
    At the Window
    Flight into Egypt
    Unusual Phenomena
    September Song
    Between the Lines
    Lawnheads Avenue
    Hurrel’s Walk
    Green Boy
    Reaches: 1946
    Night Moles: Cambridge
    Umbrella Man
    ‘Market Rasen Nostalgia’
    Playtime in a Cold City
        Prologue: Negative Space
        Michaelmas Term, 1954
        Playtime in a Cold City
        The English Faculty, or Sweetness and Light
        Long Vacation, August 1955
        ‘God with us’
        Mind Games
        In the Dark
        Notes from Oxford
        Basic Training for Fine Minds
        ‘They’re Off!’
        Amours de Voyage
        Long Vacation, August 1956
        Get Well Soon
        A Somewhere Hut
        The Lady’s Not For Burning
        Lost Hearts
        Epilogue: Whatever Happened?
    Eskimo Toys
    Peter Scupham was born in Liverpool in 1933. With John Mole he founded The Mandeville Press and now lectures, writes, and runs Mermaid Books, a second-hand book business in Norfolk. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His Collected Poems was published by Carcanet Press in 2002. ... read more
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