Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009

Voices Off
Poems by U. A. Fanthorpe

Voices Off‘Her poems are particularly good when they offer unaffected voices from a gallery of human types that do not usually figure in poetry . . . They speak an often humorous, often painful stoic wisdom.’
George Szirtes / Times Literary Supplement

‘. . . a new and original voice in English poetry: clear, distinctive, and remarkably assured . . .’
Charles Causley / Arts South West

‘A very good poet this; young readers will surely recognise the authentic tone and react to the honesty and strength of feeling of this most mature of writers.’
Marcus Crouch / The School Librarian

‘U.A. Fanthorpe has a memorable edge’
Martin Dodsworth / The Guardian

‘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


Women Laughing

Gurgles, genderless,
Inside the incurious womb.

Random soliloquies of babies
Tickled by everything.

Undomesticated shrieks
Of small girls. Mother prophesies
You’ll be crying in a minute.

Adolescents wearing giggles
Like chain-mail, against embarrassment,
Giggles formal in shape as
Butterpats, or dropped stitches.

Young women anxious to please,
Laughing eagerly before the punchline
(Being too naive to know which it is).

Wives gleaming sleekly in public at
Husbandly jokes, masking
All trace of old acquaintance.

Mums obliging with rhetorical
Guffaws at the children’s riddles
That bored their parents.

Old women, unmanned, free
Of children, embarrassment, desire to please,
Hooting grossly, without explanation.


Cover illustration: detail from the Cluny tapestry The Lady and The Unicorn (La Dame à la Licorne) “Sight” (“La Vue”), France, circa 1500 (Cluny Museum, Paris), by courtesy of la Réunion des musées Nationaux – Paris.
Publication: NOVEMBER 1984 (80 pages laminated paperback).
ISBN 10: 0905291603, ISBN 13: 9780905291604.