Neck-Verse,U.A. Fanthorpe's fifth individual collection from Peterloo, has become a best-seller like all her previous titles. Her Selected Poems (King Penguin/Peterloo Poets, 1986) is now an 'A' Level set text.
In Neck-Verse U.A. Fanthorpe returns ('Back to the Front') to the hospital territory that she has made so memorably her own. There is also a major sequence of 'Bristol Poems', and several love poems, language poems, and poems about photographs. Elsewhere she ranges from cats and canals to children and 'Costa Geriatrica'.Certain poems chart dark journeyings, whilst others will bring on tears of laughter. The capriciousness of time and the weather is a strong presence in this new volume.
'One of England's most consistently engaging poets.'
Carol Ann Duffy, Poetry Review
'U.A. Fanthorpe is a poet of real importance. She is shrewd,
intelligent, imaginatively alert, technically adroit and emotionally
appealing: a writer who can both edify and entertain.'
Alan Bold, The Scotsman
'... profound and hilarious.'
Michael Horovitz, Punch
Old scallyway scapegoat has skedaddled,
Retired at last to bridge and both kinds of bird-watching.
No more suspect phone calls from shady acquaintances,
Anonymous ladies and flush-faced Rotarians.
He could always be blamed when case-notes strayed.
(His MG boot? His mistress's bed? We enjoyed guessing.)
How we shall miss his reliable shiftiness,
Wow and flutter on tape, Wimbledon-fortnight illness,
Dr Macavity life. Dear foxy quack,
I relished your idleness, your improvisations,
Your faith in my powers of you-preservation.
Who will shoulder our errors now?
What of your replacement, the new high flyer,
Smelling of aftershave and ambition? Is that tic
Telling us something his mind will arrive at later?
Meantime, I watch his parentheses. A man so much given
To brackets is hedging his bets.
Cover illustration:Psalm 50(51) from the Canterbury Psalter (Ms. R.17.1 folio 88v.) Courtesy of Trinity College Library, Cambridge.
Publication: APRIL 1992 (64 pages laminated paperback).
ISBN 10: 1871471338, ISBN 13: 9781871471335.