Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009




HENSON, Stuart

The Impossible Jigsaw



Original Cover Price:



Poems by Stuart Henson


Stuart Henson received an Eric Gregory Award in 1979. His adaptation ‘The Play of the Silver Sword’ was published in 1982. This is his first full collection of poems.


The Boarding Houses

O voi che siete in piccioletta barca . . .

Such villas bleach their arc along the strand
Of any small resort where spume and sand
Drew principled Victorians to dare
A white improper leg or take the air,
And somehow still these réchauffé hotels
Preserve within their pastel walls the smells
Of time, a jealous faded dignity,
An aura of restraint and sympathy:
A peacock stuffed and cased moth-eyes the stair;
The plastic flowers are arranged with care.
’Our guests, our regulars, come back each year,
Though some will not return next time I fear.
Some of them say they used to go abroad’.
The seasons’ grains trickle between the boards.
Behind the formal lace breakfast at nine
While on the beach the ski-girls’ wetsuits shine.
Age is the irritant, the pearl desire.
The gulls wheel at the sun, spiral and gyre.
From every room a view of ships that hide
Under the false horizon’s rim; the tide
Lifts half-hour trippers nimble round the head.
The glare is pitted in a sea like lead.


Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Detail from a map of the Roman town of Godmanchester and sketch of Roman pipeclay Venus figurine by H. J. M. Green
Publication: MARCH 1985 (61 pages laminated paperback)