Thursday, April 10, 2008

Carbon Atom

Sam Ward told me that Alexander Hutchison may be reading in Nottingham later this year, and as I didn't know the poet's work, Sam kindly sent me a copy of 'Carbon Atom', his 2006 collection. It's good stuff, in a Scottish tradition that that has some resemblance to his friend Gael Turnbull. It's good to read solidly crafted, earthy poetry with a clear speaking voice and a sense of humour. It's relaxing to read poetry that isn't dense, elliptical or abstract, and I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and will certainly turn up at Mr. Hutchison's reading if and when he gives one. Here's a sample:


Grass of levity
Span in brevity
Flower's felicity
Fire of misery
Wind's stability
Is mortality.

Simple utility
Fingered lubricity
Sprung from audacity
Known for rapacity
Any capacity
Is mortality.

Boundless servility
Neighbouring nillity
Primping polity
Bits of carnality
Vanity vanity
Is mortality.

What doesn't signify
Render or simplify
Impaled and crucified
Sat down or sanctified
Any identity
Is mortality.

Further and further space
Gruesome and human face
Graceless or born to grace
Here in this little space
Light in our little case
Is mortality.

[The first stanza is Anonymous and dates to 1609]

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