menu_englishwriters2

 
Contributors
 

William Bedford
Richard Berengarten 1
Richard Berengarten 2
Linda Black
Jean Boase-Beier
Alison Brackenbury
Jill Dawson
Josephine Dickinson
Neil Langdon Inglis
Gabriel Josipovici
Yudit Kiss
Alberto Manguel
John McCullough
Ruth Padel
Rebecca Swift
Alan Wall

English Writers 2 Guest Artist:
Rodolfo Zagert

President: Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Vice-President: Elena Poniatowska
U. S. General Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
London Editor/Senior Editor-at-Large: Geraldine Maxwell
New York Editor/Senior Editor-at-Large:
Meena Alexander
Washington D.C. Editor/Senior
Editor-at-Large:
Laura Moser
Deputy Editor: Allen Hibbard
Deputy Editor: Jerónimo Mohar Volkow
Deputy Editor: Bina Shah
Advisory Consultant: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
General Editor: Malvina Segui
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Deputy General Editor: Jeff Barry

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boullossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Sampurna Chattarji
Sarah Churchwell
Hollis Clayson
Sally Cline
Marcelo Cohen
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Siobhan Harvey
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Laurie Maguire
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Paschalis Nikolaou
Martha Nussbaum
Tim Parks
Molly Peacock
Pascale Petit
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Élisabeth Roudinesco
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Daniel Shapiro
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
Rebecca Swift
Susan Tiberghien
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Assistant Editor: Sara Besserman
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Conor Bracken
Assistant Editor: Eugenio Conchez
Assistant Editor: Patricia Delmar
Assistant Editor: Lucila Gallino
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Krista Oehlke
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Assistant Editor: Naomi Schub
Assistant Editor: Stephanie Smith
Assistant Editor: Robert Toperter
Assistant Editor: Laurence Webb
Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

 
Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Three Poems
by
William Bedford


 

 



THE FLITTING
24th July 1841: John Clare


Two wives I have,
iffen folk say no,
law say no,
feeble brain imagines.


I’ve walked these miles,
bramble, hazard,
carters’ wiles,
a gypsy crawl


to find
a home in Mary’s smile.
And still I reckon,
sing love tunes:


huswife and bedwife,
to bicker over moons;
a harvest supper
wi wooden spoons.


‘Touched,’
the neighbours snigger.
I whistle rhythms
nobbut fools chose.


And walk at night,
nimbling poacher’s ways,
sleep on clover trusses,
chew grass ‘cos


fish gone, game gone,
no trespasses
allowed
now fields and common closed.


I chew tobacco too,
then swallow,
no lucifers to light my pipe,
smoke fumes enew.


Two wives I have,
acrost bare fields of stubble,
no pastoral views,
childern learned to reddle.


I walk
where wind whips elms:
frozed night,
red gypsy hat for warmth or trouble.


I walk
where Eden used to be,
haymaking games
a game for saucey drovers.


Then Patty
says me home.
Sweet Mary died.
And how can I forget?





nimbling moving nimbly reddle riddle enew enough








I AM
‘I am, yet what I am, none cares or knows.’*


A taproom weaver show’d me heaven,
Thomson’s Seasons his drunken fun,
my heart lurching like a cart of hay.
I knew he laughed, mocked the lines,


blank verse or rhyme a thing for hymns
or ballad singers’ cheapest trash,
chapel mornings or taproom brags.
I had to own such verses. I had to sing.


Teazed the shillings off my father,
and walked to Stamford in summer rain.
The lowering High Street stood deserted,
bookseller and printer away from home.


‘You never ‘eard o’ Sundays?’
a crowd of grinning childern clowned.
I stole a day off work. Lost that job.
Then sat in leafy Burghly sun,


rhyming the blue shine of heaven,
reckless in summer morning sunlight
where skylarks weaved and spelled
their own wild stories. The world to tell.




*John Clare








THE GARDINER
John Clare at Burghley House


They’ve put No Trespass signs across the way,
but fox don’t read, hare don’t stay to look,
starnel and redcap up and leave.
‘You’ll work to get a living,’ my old dad say,
‘bow and scrape at gardiner’s ease,
‘cos white stockings are allus grand,
clean neck cloths summat proud.’
Master of the kitchen garden they call him,
and him as bent as a struck bough,
no matter how low you duck your head.


‘A wauk child grown tall enew to work?’
he said, grinding the both of us down.
‘How’s tha feel, good feelow now?’
I feel enclosure fencing me round.
A garden allus cloyed me,
red brick walls and ivy twined round trees,
the gate no gate to heaven.
But swallow words. Turn up for work.
Swinkt till the toiling gets us down,
then run, ‘fore crizzling water freeze.


O then I knew the fribble games:
fished struttle from the shallow stream,
ran murmering woods and sudden breeze.
In fallow fields and plasky meadows,
chanted Thomson’s words unheard,
no sneering clown, conscieted coxcomb,
leering from the Blue Bell tavern,
enjoying mirth at words I made my own.
A poet’s work is hardest labour,
No Trespass signs across the road.



starnel starling wauk weak swinkt wearied with toil crizzling water starting to freeze fribble frivolity nonsense struttle minnow or stickleback plasky wet clown yokel