Worry beads are things Greeks handle to prevent their worrying about things. Anthony Edkins, using as his Worry Beads what could be called syllabic sonnets, offers us, not so much a sequence as a set of poems thematically allied – and the theme is a large one: quotidian life, qualified by snatches of nostalgia and intimations of mortality.
Anthony Edkins was born in Cheshire in 1927 but, except for five-year spells in both Spain and the U.S.A., he has lived in London since 1950. His poems have been published on both sides of the Atlantic; he also translates from the Spanish, and has been the co-editor and translator of The Poetry of Luis Cernuda (New York University Press).
This self that I inhabit is my self. I should be master in it, as secure as leaseholder with ninetynine year lease and yet it often seems to me more like a quaint museum piece in some ghost town through which I tread with extreme care in case I raise the dust or dead, or awaken some unexpected sleeping chimera. But these unquiet spirits I defer to are my own nostalgic familiars who should be subject to my self. I must people it again with substance and dismiss my self-appointed suitors before I’m exiled to the realms of myth.