Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009




HULL, Robert

Encouraging Shakespeare



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Poems by Robert Hull


Robert Hull keeps his eye entertainingly on the object – whether ruffling feathers on the wilder shores of Martian poetry or simply observing swallows nesting in a Greek supermarket wine section. Other poems in this sharply-focused first full collection include ‘A Case for Burning Books’, ambiguous celebrations of a pair of new reading glasses and of Christopher Columbus, affectionate evocations of Monsieur Hulot and Tommy Cooper, and an elegy for Philip Larkin. The title poem sees life in terms of a comically inept amateur production of Macbeth, whilst another celebrates love and the stoic virtues in the voice of a garden gnome.


New Reading Glasses

Rational friend and lover
of things as they are,

you arrest my recent retreat
from too much raw nearness.

I re-acknowledge the drab assurance
of door-keys, timetables.

I’m freshly differential
in the accomplished presences

of print, pictures.
Backing off from menus

with the movements
of an uncertain trombonist

or as if adjusting
a personal stereoscope

may no longer be necessary,
but addressing ordinary

Lilliputian presumptions
I lose the certain

benefits of confusion.
As to whether notices say anything,

and whether the ear-ring
lying on the table is or

is not a sardine-can-opener.
That satisfactory scattering

of vagueness settled
on all things close

has gone. I want the kerbful
of dandelions

to be a choir in saffron again,
the phone book

to have a million
numbers all the same.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: photographs by John Haynes of the Ninagawa Company’s Japanese production of Macbeth at the National Theatre, September 1987. (Masane Tsukayama as Macbeth; Komaki Kurihara as Lady Macbeth).
Publication: SPRING 1993 (64 pages laminated paperback)