A SECOND LIFE
Poems by William Scammell
William Scammell was born at Hythe, in Hampshire, and left school at fifteen. He worked for ten tears in various factories and offices, and then as a photographer, before going to university as a mature student. A Second Life is his second collection of poems. His first collection, Yes & No, was published by Harry Chambers / Peterloo Poets in 1979 and has sold out. Review notices said:
’This is Scammells first book, and a very praiseworthy one. His style owes a lot to Auden, but this is no bad thing . . . The poems also show, a better sign still, a good deal of willingness to use different shapes and forms, including the stanzas used by old poets . . . Satire and intelligence give other poems an edge that much contemporary British poetry lacks . . . The whole effect is of a very enjoyable and heartening first book.’
Gavin Ewart, British Book News
’Yes & No, the latest of the excellent volumes from Harry Chambers / Peterloo Poets, is a likeable, well-written first book from a poet with a gift for landscape-description and a sharp awareness of values, moral and aesthetic . . . [Yes & No] shows intelligence and honesty, as well as skill with language: qualities which are always in short supply, and which may lead Mr. Scammell to poetry of real strength.’
Grevel Lindop, The Times Literary Supplement
’William Scammell takes the quotidian and turns it into something rich and strange – landscapes, domestic events or literary events are transcribed and celebrated in an exotically illuminating language which yet remains accessible.’
Bald, stinking, wrinkled – mark the Queen
her breast deep-frozen in brocade.
Blood lechers still in every vein
commanding coxcombs ply their trade.
Straddling the seas in courtly love
her ports and inlets mapped for use
Britannia summons favours of
her favourites, for self-abuse.
I too stood next her once. She wore
a throb of musk on hectic skin
and waved her maids out at the door
and eyed me with her famishing.
Crazed with power, she simpers by
among her sworded gallants, hums
a snatch of my old lyric cry
stirring her fleet of gorgeous bums.
A SECOND LIFE
Price £3.50 / £4.50 / £7.50 per copy post free
Cover illustration: a detail from ‘Bathers Asnières’ by Georges Seurat. Reproduced by courtesy of The Trustees, The National Gallery, London.
Publication: NOVEMBER 1982 (60 pages laminated paperback / hardback / Ltd signed hardback)