Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009





Flying Under Water



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Poems by Anna Adams


Flying Under Water is Anna Adams’s fifth volume of poetry from Peterloo.

From reviews of earlier volumes:

“… energetic, formally inventive and agreeably varied poems that show a gift for narrative and a flair for recording her odder encounters with people and creatures …” Alan Brownjohn, Sunday Times

“… essentially a ‘nature poet’ in the best sense; one who presents, through her detailed knowledge of and sensitive response to landscape, flora and fauna, a vision of the world and the human predicament …” Vernon Scannell, Yorkshire Journal

“Adams peppers her style by varying her tones and voices: serious, ironic, comic, always witty, compassionate … She is at home with rhyme and traditional forms in a voice that is distinctive and authentic, that reverberates with an enviable clarity of diction – poetry as music, following the rhythms of everyday speech.” Katherine Gallagher, Poetry London

“She writes familiarly about the melancholy of ageing, the nostalgia for an idyllic rural life, the despoliation of the world which requires any tiny sacred preserved corner to be celebrated. Easy topics. And magnificently realized.” Judy Gahagan, Ambit

“Adams uses biological information in ways that make knowledge seem like a form of mystery; her scientific observations alternate with more emotionally charged idiosyncratic description; these in turn are often followed by imaginative insights that raise, and sometimes answer, metaphysical questions of origin, existence and purpose.”  James Aitchison, Lines Review

‘It is surprising that Anna Adams’s poetry is not better known, for her technique is masterly and her subjects fascinating … Immediacy and intelligence are Adams’s chief virtues … and her keen sense of humour should make her popular among many readers.’  Anne Stevenson


View of Waterloo Bridge

Over the river in five easy leaps
the concrete hurdler, like a skimming stone,
bounces four times on water, striking roots
that grow into a bridge: a mantel-shelf
of ornaments and trophies, wedding-cakes,
cheese-graters, a dome-lidded biscuit tin,
and clockwork mice that glide along the edge.
Two hours transform these things to mystery.

Now, dim in misty dusk, the great dome seems
remote as god, while floodlights show St. Bride’s
as child among vast, faintly printed tombs
that hint at life within; below, ebb tide –
combed by the bridges – coiling through the City –
races from Richmond to the estuary.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Front cover illustration: ‘Curlews’ by Anna Butt
Publication: SPRING 2004 (68 pages laminated paperback)