Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009





Rina’s War



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Poems by Julian Stannard


Julian Stannard was born in 1962 and educated at the Universities of Exeter and Oxford. From 1987-1993 he taught at the University of Genoa and now lectures at a college of the University of East Anglia. He has published a study of Fleur Adcock and is at present preparing a book on Basil Bunting for the British Council's Writers and Work series. He has published poems widely in journals and magazines, including the Faber introductory anthology First Pressings. Many of the poems in Rina's War - his first full collection - are about Genoa and the surrounding area.

’I like the cosmopolitanism of these poems. This is not just a matter of crossing national frontiers with ease, but a seemingly boundless curiosity about human behaviour at all levels. I trust Julian Stannard's observations of the world, for their accuracy and their spirit.’
Christopher Reid


Rina's War

Lombardy '43. Fog lingers with fog
and the silent progress of bicycles
has swallowed the wail of sirens.

Rina cannot see the Germans
and the Germans cannot see Rina.
All is lost in the perfection of fog.

Just as the blind can hear the light
Rina cycles off through the rice fields
aware of the butcher, the baker,

the priest, the collaborator, their
silent vehicles swishing past
under the shadow of their breath.

At the end of the fog was fog
and a landscape of ghostly bicycles
all ducking and weaving, all hoping.

For nearly two years Rina sliced
through Lombardy with never a collision.
Then suddenly the fog lifted.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Carlo Carra, “Il Barcaiolo”, 1930. © DACS 2001
Publication: AUTUMN 2001 (75 pages laminated paperback)