Published PoemsPeter Robinson

An annotated checklist 1971-2006

Poems Collected and Uncollected 1989-1993

A Dedication

Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992) and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

In the Borrowed Scenery

Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992) and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

The Neighbouring Couple

Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992). Not reprinted.

Leaf-Viewing

The event recorded took place in June 1989 while visiting Tokyo with Robert Jones. Published in The Poetry Book Society Anthology no. 1, new series, ed. Frazer Steel (London: Hutchinson, 1990); Leaf-Viewing(London: Robert Jones, 1992) and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

At New Year

Addressed to Fumiko Horikawa. Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992) and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

An Undetermined Heart

Written in the Italian Trentino in February 1990. Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992), PN Review 108 vol. 22 no. 4, 1996, and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

Duty Free

Boris Yeltsin at the airport
waiting for a plane somewhere...
An image of the Wild West:
cigarette adverts lie disused.
In a room out of commission
shelving, glass display cases
are coated with deep dust.

A woman's heavy jewellery
has triggered the alarm;
an officer in uniform,
requesting she remove it
and try the door again,
speaks in perfect English
to the tourist, Tokyo-bound.

Beyond glass screens anotheor guard
in the transit louge's warmth,
laughing, signals with his hands
and mouths through further panes
words to his less-lucky friend
stationed on the tarmac.
There, our long-haul flight refuels.

He wants to come in from the cold,
stamps and claps his gloves.
Although they do take credit cards,
there's little here i can desire.
At last they take out boarding cards.
Offhandedly, they let us go
on towards convertible currencies
over continents of snow.

Written in Nakamachi, Kyoto, in spring 1990, just before the fall of the Soviet Union. Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992).

Lost Objects

Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992) and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

As We Found It

Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992) and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

Rest Your Eyes

Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992), PN Review 108 vol. 22 no. 4, 1996, and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

On Drops of Rain

Prompted by news that Maria Teresa Sereni was suffering from cancer, and a letter from Helen Vendler in which she quoted the remark of A. R. Ammons that appears in the poem. Written in Nakamachi, Kyoto, during the rainy season of June 1990. Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992) and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Published in a Japanese translation by Takao Furukawa in After Chardin: Selected Poems 1975-1995 (Okayama, 1996).

The Views from a Bridge

Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992); The Independent, Friday 2 April 1993; and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

A Well-Made Crisis

Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992) and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

Leaving Sapporo

Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992), PN Review 108 vol. 22 no. 4, 1996, and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Liverpool Accents. A Choice of British Poetry. Included in Selected Poems.

A Tribe of Monkeys

Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992) and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

Coverage

Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992), PN Review 108 vol. 22 no. 4, 1996, and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Scheduled for Selected Poems.

Maple Leaf

Written in Nakamachi, Kyoto, winter 1990-1. Published in Leaf-Viewing (London: Robert Jones, 1992) and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

The Yellow Tank

Inspired by Diethard Leopold's photographs and slides of the yellow tank. Written in Yagiyama, Sendai, spring or early summer 1991. Published in Printed Matter vol. 15 no. 4, 1991; Scripsi vol. 8 no. 2, 1992; The Times Literary Supplement no. 4732, 1993, and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

In the Twilight

Written in Bressanone, July 1991, not long after attending an Anglo-Irish Literature conference in Leiden. Published as 'At Twilight' in Printed Matter vol. 15 no. 4, 1991; Scripsi vol. 8 no. 2, 1992; and, with revised title, in Thumbscrew no. 4, 1996; collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

A Surreptitious Visit

English vol. 40 no. 167, 1991. Uncollected.

Clearing the Wood

This acrostic sonnet was written in Fen Ditton, Cambridge, one morning in early December 1992. Published in Metre no. 1, 1996, and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

Seven Pheasants

Begun soon after Christmas 1992, completed sometime before September 1993. Published in Poetry Kantono. 10, 1994; Tabla no. 4, 1995; PN Review 108 vol. 22 no. 4, 1996; and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

Nabucco

The framing event in stanzas one and three took place in July 1991. Written in Yagiyama, Sendai, one day in December 1991 when Mark Ford had come to visit. Published in Scripsi vol. 8 no. 2, 1992, and collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

The Happiness Plant

A description of Marcus Perryman's flat in Via Murari Bra, Verona. Begun in Via Sauro, Parma, in March, completed in Yagiyama, Sendai, in April 1992. Published in Scripsi vol. 8 no. 2, 1992; PN Review 108 vol. 22 no. 4, 1996; and collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

Red Wednesday

Inspired by walking from Rosemary Laxton's newly rented flat in Barnes to Kevin Jackson's house in White City during the morning of April Fool's Day, 1992, and then by walking to South Kensington for a supper with Christine Tweddle. Written in April and May of the same year in Yagiyama, Sendai. Published in Scripsi vol. 8 no. 2, 1992; and, with the final two verses inexplicably left out, in London Quarterly no. 8, 1996. Collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

A Place Worth Visiting

Published in Scripsi vol. 8 no. 2, 1992; collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

An Imaginary Portrait

Inspired by a meeting with Christine Tweddle in London during the summer of 1990. Begun at a British Council Seminar on Shakespeare at Hakone, Japan, in September, completed in Nakamachi, Kyoto, towards the end of the year. Published in Ariel vol. 23 no. 1, 1991, and collected in Entertaining Fates(Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1992).

Background Noise

Written in Nakamachi, Kyoto, during the autumn of 1990. Published in Poetry Durham no. 32, 1993; collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

Taking Leave

'Enjoy your last days' leave!'
In a cafe by the promenade
at Southsea on my visit home,
as if taking leave of his sense,
a stranger out of nowhere said
and added then, mistaking me,
'You'll soon be back in uniform!'

But there were some could barely
contain a grim excitement
at talk of first strikes on the air,
or daily newspaper prognoses
in their circulation war.

For others it was different:
knowing he might meet his fate
somewhere in the clouds above;
a model front-line interceptor
hung suspended in the alcove
of his parents' pied-a-terre.

Down a siding's green profusion
where were air-borne, wind-sown
willowherb, fern, convolvulus
- as if the most neglected
in the long run most survives;
we've grown familiar with farewells,
become acclimatized to goodbyes.

Inspired by events of September 1990, pointing towards the Gulf War. Written in Nakamachi, Kyoto, autumn 1990. Published in Poetry Durham no. 32, 1993. Uncollected.

Before an Operation

Written in Via Sauro, Parma, in April 1993. Published in Stand Magazine, vol. 35 no. 1, winter 1993-4, and collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997) and Selected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet, 2003) .

A Classical Landscape

Written in March 1993 in Cambridge. Published in Stand Magazine, vol. 35 no. 1, winter 1993-4, and collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

Deep North

Professor Zenzo Suzuki is the ‘you’ in ‘Deep North’. The poem’s occasion was a visit we made to Yamadera with Yasushi Saito, and the Tomlinsons. My version of Basho's haiku from The Narrow Road to the Deep North tries to preserve an ambiguity about the number of cicadas and (my own confusion) whether it is the sound or the silence that penetrates the rock. The second verse alludes to William H. Epstein's 'Counter-Intelligence: Cold-War Criticism and Eighteenth-Century Studies' (ELH 57, 1, Spring 1990) which Prof Suzuki had given me to read. The theory that Basho was spying on his visit to Tohoku also appears in 'Yamadera', the fourth part of 'Zipangu' (Jubilation, OUP: 1995, 36-8), Charles Tomlinson's account of our day out, as does what he calls 'a whole army / of automatic scarecrows'. The 'someone' in my final verse is Vittorio Sereni, an Italian poet whose work we had been discussing on the mountain.

'Deep North' was begun in Yagiyama, Sendai, November 1992, completed in Via Sauro, Parma, April 1993. Published in Stand Magazine, vol. 35 no. 1, winter 1993-4; Prairie Schooner vol. 70 no. 2, 1996; PN Review 108 vol. 22 no. 4, 1996; with the explanatory note reprinted above in Enlightened Groves: Essays in Honour of Professor Zenzo Suzuki ed. E. Hara, H. Ozawa, and P. Robinson (Tokyo: Shohakusha, 1996). It was collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

The Cold

Written from a fragmentary draft of 1989, in Via Sauro, Parma, winter 1992-3 - after a dream in which the final lines were said to me. Published in Oxford Poetry vol. 7 no. 2, 1993. It was collected in Lost and Found(Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

A Surreptitious Visit

This is a much longer sequence of five poems which incorporates the text of the poem published in English vol. 40 no. 167, 1991. Published in Poetry Kanto no. 9, 1993. Uncollected

The Albert Dock

David Mather is a school friend from Liverpool College. Written in Robert Jones's flat in Granville Square, King's Cross, during July 1992, soon after the event which inspired it. Published in PN Review 96 vol. 20 no. 4, 1994; Liverpool Accents: Seven Poets and a City ed. P. Robinson (Liverpool University Press: Liverpool, 1996). It was collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

To a Vicar's Daughter

Also addressed to Christine Tweddle, and inspired by a meeting at the Pelican Cafe, St Martin's Lane, during summer 1991. Begun in Yagiyama, Sendai, in December 1991, completed in late September or early October 1992. Published in PN Review 96 vol. 20 no. 4, 1994, and collected in Lost and Found(Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

Their Fears

The first verse set in Robert Jones's flat, Granville Square, King's Cross. The second is a dream told by Christine Tweddle concerning her then boyfriend. The two verses were drafted as parts of different poems in Marcus Perryman's flat, Via Murari Bra, Verona, in March 1992, and completed by editing the two parts together in Yagiyama, Sendai, November 1992. Published in PN Review 96 vol. 20 no. 4, 1994, and collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

Penalties

Drafted as three verses in David and Fiona Roberts' flat in Onohara Higashi, Osaka, in June 1992, soon after staying with the dedicatee, Mark Ford, in Nagamachi, Kyoto; the five verse final version made in Liverpool or Dublin, July 1992. Published in PN Review 96 vol. 20 no. 4, 1994; Prairie Schooner vol. 70 no. 2, 1996. Collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

Curriculum Vitae

Written in Yagiyama, Sendai, on 16 February 1992, two days after the dedicatee had returned to England alone. Published in the Swansea Review no. 13, 1994, and collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

Early Days

Published in English vol. 44 no. 178, 1995,and collected in Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997).

Rainy Season

English vol. 44 no. 178, 1995

Things Past

English vol. 44 no. 178, 1995

A Burning Head

Stand Magazine vol. 36 no. 3, 1995

The Monk's Garden

Published in Prairie Schooner vol. 70 no. 2, 1996

Bus Home

Published in Prairie Schooner vol. 70 no. 2, 1996


Poems Collected and Uncollected 1994-1997

The Gift

Completed draft dated 3 April 1994. Published in London Quarterly no. 8, 1996; Samizdat no. 3, 1999, and About Time Too (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001) and in Selected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2003).

After Bansui

Begun soon after 21 May and completed by late September 1994 in Yagiyama, Sendai, Japan, and Via Naviglio Alto, Parma, Italy. Published in Prairie Schooner vol. 70 no. 2, 1996; fourW no. 8, 1997; The Richmond Review [www.richmondreview.co.uk], 1999; and About Time Too (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001).

Dream Report

Completed on 1 July 1994 in Yagiyama, Sendai, Japan. Published in Printed Matter vol. 19 no. 4, 1996, and About Time Too (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001).

In the Consular Section

Prairie Schooner vol. 70 no. 2, 1996; The Animist, 1999;

Nostalgia for the Present

Metre no. 1, 1996

A Difficult Winter

Dylan Francis, The Risk of Being Alive: Writings on Medicine, Poetry and Landscape ed. K. Jackson (Cambridge: Cambridge Quarterly Publications)

Convalescent Days

The Southern Review vol. 32 no. 2, 1996

Late Roman Fragment

Poetry Wales vol. 32 no. 1, 1996/p>

Japanese Watercolours

Bongos of the Lord no. 4, 1997; The Swansea Review no. 17, 1997; Trout no. 5, 1998

Surfaces of Things

Published in Bongos of the Lord no. 4, 1997; with a RealAudio recording in Perihelion no. 3, 1998; Kawauchi Review no. 2, July 2001. Scheduled for Ghost Characters.

Days Before

Bongos of the Lord no. 4, 1997; fourW no. 8, 1997

In This Life

The Swansea Review no. 17, 1997; Cortland Review no. 6 [www.cortlandreview.com], 1999

Aftershocks

fourW no. 8, 1997

Afterlives

Written in King's Parade and Barton Road, Cambridge, in August 1993. Published in Ariel vol. 26 no. 2, 1995, and Lost and Found (Manchester: Carcanet, 1997). Included in Selected Poems.

Difficult Mornings

Begun on a mid-December flight from Narita to Milan via Munich and finished on 23 December 1993 in Via Sauro, Parma, Italy. Published in Prairie Schooner vol. 70 no. 2, 1996; then, with revised second verse, in English vol. 47 no. 189, 1998; and About Time Too (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001) and in Selected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2003).

Out of Circulation

Early version completed 2 February 1995, revised into its definitive version on 6 April 1996 in Sendai, Japan. Published in New Grains no. 2, 1998; English vol. 47 no. 189, 1998; and About Time Too (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001) and in Selected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2003).

The Explanation

Completed on 6 August 1995 at Fico Rosso, Parma, Italy. Published in Meanjin vol. 55 no. 3, 1996, College Green 1997, and About Time Too (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001), and in Selected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2003).

Scargill House

Parts 5 and 6 written in the spring, the remainder written during the autumn of 1995, a final selection and revision made in spring 1996 in Sendai, Japan. Rachel Kitchen, the daughter of the vicar of Garforth, Yorkshire, in the late 1960s and early 1970s is referred to, as is Rosemary Laxton. Published in PN Review 122 vol. 24 no. 6, 1998, and About Time Too (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001) and in Selected Poems(Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2003).

The Late

Written on 27 January 1996 in Yagiyama, Sendai, Japan. Published in PN Review 122 vol. 24 no. 6, 1998, and About Time Too (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001).

Winter Interiors

Completed in the small hours while suffering from jet-lag in my brother Martin’s flat in Kingston-upon-Thames, early March 1996. Published as 'A School of Love', Poetry Kanto no. 13, 1997; and, its ending revised, as ‘Winter Interiors’ with a RealAudio recording in Perihelion no. 3, 1998; and About Time Too(Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001) and in Selected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2003).

Boundary Drive

Written 25 March to 1 April 1995 in Yagiyama, Sendai, Japan. Published in Making Connections: a Festschrift for Matt Simpson, ed. A Topping (Exeter: Stride Publications, 1996), and, with revisions, in About Time Too(Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001).

For my Daughter

Written between 6 and 12 April 1996 in Yagiyama, Sendai, Japan. Published in Ariel vol. 28 no. 3, 1997, and About Time Too (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001) and Selected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001).

Dandelion Clocks

Written in Yagiyama, Sendai, Japan, on 21 May 1996. Published in Bongos of the Lord no. 4, 1997; fourW no. 8, 1997; The Richmond Review [www.richmondreview.co.uk], 1999; and About Time Too (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001). The revision of ‘half-sisters’ to ‘sisters’ made when the suspicion of my grandfather’s illegitimacy was rendered rather more unlikely by Freur Adcock’s researches in the Public Records Office.

The Bargain

Written on 1 June 1996 in Yagiyama, Sendai, Japan. Published in Thumbscrew no. 8, 1997, and About Time Too (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001).

Your Other Country

Begun in Huntington Road, York, England, in July and completed in the second half of August 1996 in Via Naviglio Alto, Parma, Italy. Published in PN Review 122 vol. 24 no. 6, 1998, and About Time Too(Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001) and Selected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet, 2003).

Since You Asked

Completed in Via Naviglio Alto, Parma, Italy on 28 August 1996. Published with the dedication to Adam Clarke-Williams and the third stanza cut at Mick Imlah's suggestion in the Times Literary Supplement no. 4944, 1998; reprinted in About Time Too (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001).