TALK INTO THE LATE EVENING
Poems by John Gohorry
Talk Into The Late Evening is a wide-ranging second full collection by a poet who made his mark with the hugely entertaining A Voyage Round The Moon (Peterloo, 1985). In the title poem the conversations of adults arriving for a dinner party are offset against the babbling of the hosts’ children falling asleep in their nursery upstairs. In a sense all the poems in the collection can be read as part of the tlk of the dinner party or part of the counter poised babbling out of which talk develops and into which it falls. At the same time the poems explore some of the harmonies and disharmonies between words and the world. Often the poems invoke musical elements directly.
The collection begins with a poem in which alien creatures are humanised and assimilated in consequence of the names attributed to them and the suppositions that are made about them. It ends with a poem which is written in an alien language to highlight the problems of assimilation and supposition which arise once we begin to say This is what this means.
The poems aim to illuminate as much by the awakening of sense as by their appeal to intelligence, in the same way that talk says as much by its pitch, cadence and accent as it does by words delivered.
John Gohorry has lectured in Further and Higher Education. His long poem sequence Amber, won one of the Duncan Lawrie Prizes in the 191 Arvon International Poetry Competition.
From reviews of A Voyage Round The Moon:
‘. . . a roomy and enjoyable first collection. Its ingenuity is evident and an attractive voice fills its careful forms, ranging over art, love, death, and domesticity for its subjects.’
Sean O’Brien, Poetry Review
’. . . one of the strongest talents to be discovered by Harry Chambers in recent years.’
Simon Rae, London Magazine
Talk into the Late Evening
They are slowly falling asleep at last in the wicker nursery,
bears, blossoms and comforters strewn over their counterpanes
while the inexhaustible summer sunlight still improvises a dance
through the appletrees, and their curtains turn distant lands
hailed through the yellow roomshine by their explorers’ vowels;
Cra-croucrou, they are calling, toohou, cacrou, toutou, toohou.
Downstairs, there are bright adult sallies of arrival and greeting
- laughter – Oh, those magnificent flowers! Fetch a vase, darling!
bubbles the hostess, then – What a beautiful dress you are wearing!
from the fragrant male guests fluttering to her candle flame.
And later, when wineglasses are emptied and cutlery clatters
over the smoothed tablecloth, there is the stridor of small talk
growing more serious until night thickens in the laurel bushes
and the dinner party projects itself through the open windows
in a corona of yellow light out onto the fold-aways of the lawn.
Upstairs, the far countries have slipped into a short silence;
but making their goodnight calls at the gate under a white moon
they keep an ear open for new languages, slowly becoming theirs.
TALK INTO THE LATE EVENING
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: René Magritte ‘L’Homme au Journal’, 1927. The Tate Gallery, London. © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 1992.
Publication: AUTUMN 1992 (64 pages laminated paperback)