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Wordsounds & Sightlines

New and Selected Michael Horovitz Poems, cover portrait by David Hockney

‘Popular, experienced, experimental, New Jerusalem, Jazz Generation, Sensitive Bard’ is how Allen Ginsberg characterised Michael Horovitz, introducing him to New York in 1970.

Ten volumes of Horovitz’s poetry were published between 1963 and 1979, when Growing Up : Selected Poems and Pictures 1951-1979 came out. Since then various pressures, notably his commitment to the encouragement of other writers and artists, stopped his more recent verse appearing in print, apart from the rural rhapsody Midsummer Morning Jog Log which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

Wordsounds & Sightlines contains the poet’s own selection of hitherto unpublished shorter pieces, as a companion volume and sequel to Growing Up. The new collection is made up of six sections: InterCity Poems; Light Verse; Songpoems & Lyrics; Homages & Updates (To Thomas Gray, Wordsworth, Matthew Arnold, Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke, Joyce, Schwitters and E.J. Thribb); Elegies & Footnotes (for Beckett, Larkin and Frances Horovitz, among others); and Echoes & Transcriptions (of Bix Beiderbecke, Lionel Hampton, John Cage, rainfall at dawn, Beethoven, et al).

Not Adlestrop

(Homage to Edward Thomas)

No, I don’t remember Adlestrop
(Moreton-in-Marsh’s the nearest stop)

But when I was small there were puffer trains
Cresting bridges that wound over leafy lanes

And one that stopped at a long white gate
To let a herd of cows pass, late

One summer evening at a level crossing
In the Cotswold hamlet of Little Bossing

ND 31 / ISBN 0-902689-20-7
at £7.74 each incl. UK p/p.