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Selected Poems

Roy Fuller

Edited by John Fuller

Selected Poems by Roy Fuller
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Categories: 20th Century, British, War writings
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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(Pub. Nov 2012)
£12.95 £11.65
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(Pub. Feb 2012)
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  • But there is much to be said for a summer
    Without alarms. The plum crop is modest,
    The monarch has remained unchanged,
    Small differences only in one’s teeth and hair and verse-forms.

    from ‘The Unremarkable Year’
    From his first wartime collection evoking a generation’s experience of a country made strange by blackouts and air raids, the ‘vivid allegorical / Reality of gun and hangar’, to the consolatory wisdom of the Last Poems of 1993, Roy Fuller was a poet of the familiar and ordinary made extraordinary. Mundane details, observed with Fuller’s tolerant humour and acute eye, reveal depths and dissonances from which a civilised life may be created: the unremarkable year ‘of painting the shed ... Is also that of harmonies / That have made one’s life and art for evermore off-key’.

    On the centenary of Fuller’s birth, this generous selection, introduced by John Fuller, the poet’s son, and with an afterword by Neil Powell, Fuller’s biographer, brings to a new generation of readers the work of one of the essential twentieth-century poets.

    With an afterword by Neil Powell

    COVER PHOTOGRAPH Roy Fuller, February 1943. Annotated by Roy Fuller, ‘On the way up – Uganda somewhere’. Reproduced by permission of John Fuller.
    A Note on the Text
    Preface by John Fuller


    from Poems (1939) and As From the Thirties (1983)
    To M.S., Killed in Spain
    August 1938
    After the Spanish Civil War
    To My Brother

    from The Middle of a War (1942)
    Autumn 1939
    The Barber
    First Winter of War
    To My Wife
    Autumn 1940
    Soliloquy in an Air Raid
    Epitaph on a Bombing Victim
    ABC of a Naval Trainee
    Defending the Harbour
    Royal Naval Air Station
    The End of a Leave
    The Middle of a War
    Another War
    Spring 1942
    Harbour Ferry
    Goodbye for a Long Time

    from A Lost Season (1944)
    The Photographs
    The Green Hills of Africa
    The Giraffes
    The Plains
    Askari’s Song
    The White Conscript and the Black Conscript
    Convicts Working on the Aerodrome
    The Tribes
    Sadness, Theory, Glass
    Shore Leave Lorry
    The Coast
    The Petty Officer’s Mess
    Today and Tomorrow
    The Emotion of Fiction
    The Statue
    Epitaphs for Soldiers
    Winter in Camp


    from Epitaphs and Occasions (1949)
    During a Bombardment by V-Weapons
    Schwere Gustav
    To My Son
    The Gaze
    Obituary of R. Fuller

    from Counterparts (1954)
    Rhetoric of a Journey
    Youth Revisited
    The Image
    The Meeting

    from Brutus’s Orchard (1957)
    Autobiography of a Lungworm
    On Grazing a Finger
    The Day
    The Ides of March
    The Perturbations of Uranus
    Mythological Sonnets

    from Collected Poems (1962)
    Monologue in Autumn
    On the Mountain
    from Faustian Sketches
    Questions to Mephistopheles
    The Princes
    The Hittites
    Versions of Love
    from Meredithian Sonnets

    from Buff (1965)
    Love and Murder
    The Historian


    from New Poems (1968)
    The Symphonist
    Reading The Bostonians in Algeciras Bay
    The Map
    Ambiguities of Travel
    In Memory of my Cat, Domino: 1951–66
    The Visitors
    Those of Pure Origin
    Last Sheet

    from Tiny Tears (1973)
    Tiny Tears
    The Unremarkable Year

    from From the Joke Shop (1975)
    The Card Table
    Shakespeare and Co
    Elephants, Ants, Doves
    The Voyage
    Essential Memory
    Late November
    Strange Meeting
    From the Joke Shop
    The Future

    from The Reign of Sparrows (1980)
    Two Muses
    Ghost Voice
    Hedge-Sparrows and House-Sparrows
    The Old Toy
    from In His Sixty-Fifth Year
    1976 Draws to a Close
    Singing, 1977
    from Quatrains of an Elderly Man
    In the Night
    Poetry and Whist
    Ordinary Seaman



    from New and Collected Poems (1985)
    Autumn 1981
    On the 160th Anniversary of the Discovery of the First Quarto of Hamlet
    Old Themes
    from Mianserin Sonnets
    Dreams and Art

    from Subsequent to Summer (1985)
    Symphonic Dances
    Death on the Heath
    In God a Mathematician?
    In the Park
    The Powers
    Anatomy of a Cat

    from Consolations (1987)
    Down Kaunda Street
    Questions of Entropy
    The Scale
    The Marcellus Version
    from Literary Footnotes
    Amatory Dreaming in Old Age
    Ward 1G

    from Available for Dreams (1989)
    Another Art
    Lessons of the Summer
    Teatimes Past and Present
    The Hairbrush
    The Elderly Husband
    Bird of Passage
    Nature Programme
    Dans un Omnibus de Londres
    News of the World
    from The Cancer Hospital
    Your Absence

    from Last Poems (1993)
    Minor Keys
    Summer Laughter
    Nasty Weather Ahead
    Advice to the Elderly
    The Envious Poet
    The Letter
    Venus, Mars and Cupid
    My Life
    Later Sonnets from the Portuguese
    The Story

    Afterword by Neil Powell
    Index of Titles and First lines
    Roy Fuller
    Roy Fuller was born in Failsworth, Lancashire in 1912 and grew up in Blackpool. On leaving school, he trained as a solicitor. He married in 1936, and his son John was born the following year. He served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and then spent his working ... read more
    John Fuller
    John Fuller was born in 1937. A poet, novelist and critic, from 1966 to 2002 he was Fellow and Tutor in English at Magdalen college, Oxford, where he is now Emeritus Fellow. His Collected Poems were published in 1996, and his Stones and Fires won the Forward Prize in 1997. The ... read more
     'For all his self-deprecation, he had an unquenchable impulse to marvel at things - to rejoice in the merely human, and to let the sense of approaching death feel part of life.'
    Andrew Motion
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