Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009





Abolishing the Dark



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Poems by Peter Forbes


Peter Forbes was born at Burton-on-Trent, and grew up in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire. He read Chemistry at Bristol University, and has held an odd assortment of jobs, including helping to build the M6, Assistant Works Chemist at a gypsum plaster factory, three very unsuccessful months as a professional musician in northern clubs, and the obligatory late-1960’s drop-out phase. He has also worked in scientific publishing, and has edited illustrated reference books.

He was a columnist for Vole magazine and has contributed articles to New Scientist, World Medicine and other magazines. His anthology, A Poet’s 1982 (Poet & Printer, 1983), was widely acclaimed, his poems have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, and his pamphlet collection The Aerial Noctiluca (Poet & Printer, 1981), was favourably reviewed:

‘Writing of all-too-familiar themes . . . Peter Forbes demonstrates how completely such material can be transformed by invention and a little learning . . . In “We Have Abolished the Dark” he is able to give an unexpected imaginative depth and verbal texture to what is, after all, no more than common observation.’
                                  Roger Garfitt / Times Literary Supplement

’. . . the three strongest poems in the collection – the title poem, “Man of Letters” and “We Have Abolished the Dark” – are imaginative and compelling pieces.’
                                              John Gohorry / Albion

’Peter Forbes has an Audenesque penchant for strict lyrical forms . . . but can rise to individuality when dealing with specifics . . . (His) grotesquerie comes from close observation. Grotesque Jacobs are rare and interesting, more like true brothers of Esau . . . In any case they come out winners usually.’
                                             George Szirtes / Quarto


The Aerial Noctiluca

This bonfire is a dragon who swallows his tail,
Curlicue on curlicue, evanescence.
Genies of vapour detach from the pyre
Like solar storms on a moon-blocked disc.

Apotheosis of the frivolous,
The portentous whoosh yields a fleeting shower,
Auditioning rockets blow their chance to be stars,
While the moon sails on in high disdain.

In Wright of Derby an alchemist stares
At the essence of moon, his bottled noctiluca,
Spilling from a flask on scrolls and amphorae:
The Philosopher’s Stone is chiaroscuro.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: ‘Grand Fireworks at the Castel Sant’Angelo’ by Joseph Wright. By courtesy of Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.
Publication: 1984 (60 pages laminated paperback)