Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009





A Watching Brief



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Poems by U. A. Fanthorpe


A Watching Brief is U.A. Fanthorpe's fourth collection, and the first since her Selected Poems (1986) was published simultaneously in Peterloo hardback and King Penguin paperback. All her volumes have met with extraordinarily unanimous critical acclaim.

‘Who, though, will move you, going straight for the emotions? Unhesitatingly, I name U.A. Fanthorpe as the poet who can suddenly hit you below the heart.’
Robin Lane Fox, Financial Times

Her poems are particularly good when they offer unaffected voices from a gallery of human types that do not usually figure in poetry.’
George Szirtes, Times Literary Supplement

... an accessible, precise and moving poet ...’
Kenneth Baker, Sunday Telegraph


The Doctor

Sir Luke Fildes: The Doctor, Tate Gallery

'That Jackson, he's another one.
If he goes on opening windows we'll all
Die of pneumonia.'
                              The native obsessions:
Health and the weather. Attendants have
The dogged, grainy look of subjects. Someone,
Surely, is going to paint them?

'You don't have a bad heart yet, do you?'

'Not that I know of.'
                                    'They can examine you.'

'But they don't really know.'
                                               The painters knew.
Gainsborough eyed his lovely, delicate daughters
And rich fat brewers: Turner his hectic skies.
They brooded on death by drowning (Ophelia, in real water);
Cloud without end; storm; storm coming on;
Bright exophthalmic eyes, consumptive colours,
And gorgeous goitred throats; the deluge,
The end of the world, and Adam's
Appalling worm-wrapped birth.
                                                  Such patient watchers
Have eyes for those who watch. The child,
Frets in its fever, the parents
Grieve in the background gloom. But the doctor,
Who has done all he can, and knows nothing
Will help or heal, sits raptly, raptly,
As if such absorbed attention were in itself
A virtue. As it is.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Sir Luke Fildes, The Doctor (The Tate Gallery, London.)
Publication: 1987 (75 pages laminated paperback)