www.peterloopoets.com

Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009

PREVIOUS

UP

NEXT

MOLE, John

Depending on the Light

Paperback

1871471389

Original Cover Price:

7.95

Drysdale,-Between-Dryden-&-04

DEPENDING ON THE LIGHT
Poems by John Mole

_________________________________________________________________________________

John Mole was born in 1941 in Somerset and was, for many years, a teacher in Hertfordshire where he still lives. He has published several collections of verse, including In and Out of the Apple (1984) and Homing (1987). His work for children includes Boo to a Goose (1987) which received the Signal Award for the year’s outstanding contribution to children’s poetry. As a broadcaster, he has presented editions of Poetry Now, Time for Verse, and Poetry Please on BBC Radio, as well as compiling feature programmes. He has been co-editor, with Peter Scupham, of the Mandeville Press, and between 1983 and 1989 he was poetry critic for the magazine Encounter. He has published a collection of his review essays – Passing Judgements: Poetry in the Eighties (1989). John Mole is married to the illustrator Mary Norman.

From reviews of Homing (1987):

’. . . skilful, approachable, often deeply moving poetry.’ George Szirtes, The Cambridge Review

’He is a poet at the height of his powers, finding strength with each volume and with a considerable body of work to his name. If his good-humoured, unflashy intelligence has caused him sometimes to be taken for granted, Homing will make it still more difficult to fail to see him as one of the most accomplished poets of the age.’ Bernard O’Donoghue, The Poetry Review

’I’m sure Graves would have admired “The Doll’s House” and Auden seen much to praise in “Coming Home”. These names are not invoked out of random pretentiousness, but in order to give a sense of Mole’s achievement.’ John Lucas, New Statesman

_________________________________________________________________________________

Travellers

The pin-striped thug, the middle-aged
Sartorial bully is a lost soul
In this tunnel. Tense, ophthalmic
On the edge of murder, going
Nowhere between stations. Opposite
I read a book and then pretend to, watching
As his anger swells from silence,
Pours into a well that can’t contain it
And the black bile overflows. A girl
Sits down beside him opening her bag
And taking out three carrots. She begins
To bite them – click, click, click, click -
As if he wasn’t there, as if beside her
Was a gentleman who wouldn’t mind
Because he was a gentleman, at most
Might be amused by this – click, click -
Or say My little rabbit, but instead
His sour face swivels round towards her
Muttering More noise, come on, please
Make more noise, why not, let’s hear it,
We all want to hear it!
He attempts
A supercilious snarl. Her pale face
Pales still further but her eyes are tip-toe
On the edge of murder. She outfaces him,
She blinks, she bites again – click, click -
And gazes coldly. She will never be
His victim but again he tries. If you don’t
Stop I’ll pull the communication cord
And then you’ll have to and that won’t
Be all –
click, click, click, click,
She finishes. She reaches for another. Do
She says then you’ll be fined – click, click -
Until he sits there speechless and until
I close my book. The train slows down. She says
I think there’s something wrong with you . . .
I leave at the next station.

_________________________________________________________________________________

DEPENDING ON THE LIGHT
Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Henri Matisse, Head of Laurette With a Coffee Cup (1917). © H. Matisse / DACS 1993.
Publication: SPRING 1993 (64 pages laminated paperback)