Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009




MOLE, John

The Other Day



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Poems by John Mole


John Mole was born in 1941 in Taunton, Somerset. He has appeared at various festivals both as a poet and jazz clarinettist, the latter on several occasions with fellow poet Roy Fisher. His most recent collections are Counting the Chimes: New and Selected Poems 1975-2003 (Peterloo, 2004) and This is the Blackbird: Selected Poems for Children (Peterloo, 2007). John Mole can be heard reading on the Poetry Archive website at www.poetryarchive.org. He has compiled programmes for Radios 3 and 4, including Time for Verse and Poetry Please, and his collection of review essays, Passing Judgements, was described by Terry Eagleton in the Times Literary Supplement as ‘Striking just the right balance between high critical discourse and racy journalese.’ Recipient of  the Gregory and Cholmondeley awards for poetry, the Signal Award for his writing for children, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire, John Mole is currently resident poet to the City of London as part of the Poet in the City project.

The title poem of John Mole’s new collection recalls a summer afternoon spent, as a schoolboy, with his literary hero, and sets the tone for a number of poems which are concerned with memory, inheritance, and a vanishing way of life which has shaped his imagination. By turns affectionate, valedictory, and informed by personal gratitude, several of these poems are also firmly rooted in the contemporary world so that ‘the other day’ refers as much to recent events as it does to the country of the past where things were done differently.

‘John Mole builds clean structures of love, pain and longing which do that most difficult thing – move us at the human level by an assurance free from both sentimentality and defensive irony.’
PN Review

‘His muse is domestic, his themes the continuity of familial love and the painful process of facing up to the necessary outrage of human mortality. Virtually all of these poems are expertly crafted and are sure to give pleasure to readers who respond to the tested traditional qualities of the best English poetry.’
Sunday Telegraph

’John Mole has the virtue praised in an earlier Heaney poem, “A Daylight Art” of practicing his right art from the start and persevering in it.”
Times Literary Supplement

‘There is his scrupulous recognition of the paradox that the real amounts to more than the words on the page used to describe it yet is less substantial without them.’
The London Magazine

‘A new John Mole collection is good news.’
The Guardian


Winter Garden

It is all stripped down
to the hard earth
with a brick wall
balanced on its pointing.
We walk in it
as if for the last time,
watching our step
beyond recrimination.
Whatever was said here
through the summer months
will not repeat itself
or be mentioned again,
but just to be certain
you snap off a dead-head
with a gesture so final
it feels like loss.


Price 7.95 per copy post free
Cover illustration: Air Raid Wardens, taken after All-Night Bombing of the West End: 1940
Publication: October 2007 (60 pages laminated paperback)