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W.G. Shepherd

Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (72 pages)
(Pub. Jan 1980)
Out of Stock
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  • Excerpt
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    She was prepared to believe
    The fraudulent label – it was her father’s violin.
    But they said, ‘You must learn the piano
    First.’ She crossed her fingers
    In the name of Guarnerius. Guarnerius is in heaven.
    No kin to the keyboard with its ready-made notes,
    She reneged – they would impose
    A kind of nunnery discipline.
    She climbed instead the domestic Eiger face,
    Doing the thousand things that have to be done.



    Rest on the beach:
    The simple sea, the vaults of rain.
    How it wants to chime:
    Incarnate, carnal, carnage.
    Knowledge erodes the bones
    Like acid, like light.
    Lapsed in sense, focused in sense,
    The poem is called Blood Wine. God does not stir
    In his coelacanth sleep.

    W.G. Shepherd’s second book gathers his poems since Sun, Oak, Almond, I (1970). A strong sense of fantasy and humour plays its part in this collection, which ranges from the intriguing experiments of ‘The Antonine Poems’ to the plain and moving narratives of ‘Memorials’, and the compact, restrained and powerful versions from Horace and other ancient poets. In all his writing Bill Shepherd tests the resources of his poetic language with wit and skill.

    W.G. (Bill) Shepherd (1935–2012) was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge. His National Service was in the Royal Artillery. He worked for many years in industry before becoming a therapeutic counsellor. His Horace: The Complete Odes and Epodes and Propertius: The Poems were published as Penguin Classics in the 1980s. Three collections ... read more
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