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Into Summer · Poetry & Prose · 2024.

I. Two Cautionary Tales by Simon Collings

The Fish Eye

At the bottom of his plate of fish soup Gunther found an eye looking at him. He was horrified. In the local folklore, discovering a fish eye in one’s soup was a worrying omen, and Gunther believed strongly in local lore. He scooped the eye onto his spoon and considered it with trepidation. The large black pupil stared back at him malevolently.

II. Imaginator by Alan Wall

The word has not survived, except in the far reaches of rock music, and some off-beat business ventures. Imaginator. One who makes it all up. The word became entangled in the seventeenth century with the Docetists, which might have led to it being treated warily. The Docetists believed that Jesus was all God; that he impersonated manhood, so as to cheer the rest of us along to redemption. But he was all God really, so he didn’t in truth suffer at all during the Passion and Crucifixion. He was just funning us.

III. Three Prose Poems by Mélisande Fitzsimons

Alone in her Prison Cell, Aliénor d’Aquitaine Reflects on the Randomness of Language and History

England, England, land of sputum and spit, I love it. I have always loved your spirit, even when your buttery tongue licked me into near losing the deep fur, felt sounds of my own. Against the plastic colourful surging of Worcester, Gloucester, always talking about the weather, I still carry la fleur, folie, ardeur of my years in o©, ad ho©, o for yes. O: c’est cela, © silent, a sacred yes, it is-o-il est.

IV. Five Sonnets in Honour of Sir Walter Raleigh by Richard Berengarten

Executed on the Scaffold, Westminster, 29 October, 1618.

He dresses in the Tower

At five, the priest. The prisoner, confessed,
Cheers up a little, even seeming merry,
Taking his usual care in how he’s dressed,
Stylish as ever, fashionable (very)—
Doublet, hair-hued; taffeta breeches, black;
Waistcoat, embroidered, black; kid gloves, in hand;
Gown, velvet, also black, draped on his back;



V. The Anamnesiologist by James Peake

After Susanna Clark.


Someone who recovers what’s been lost,
has committed to the steady and dubious art
of unforgetting, ways of being, blind spots
we didn’t know to compensate for, weight…

VI.  Two Eclogues by John Wilkinson

Ecologue: Each to Each

The flattened world is incapable of folding its creatures;
they enter no burrows, nests
cannot raise a rookery aloft amidst spheres of mistletoe,
new carrot-top curls subside,
creep along the earth they intrigue and disguise, matted…

VII. Red by Daniel Coyle

This most ancient of colors, the primal primary, red was the first color humans used, modified, smeared on their bodies, and painted on cave walls. Before ancient languages had words for blue, yellow, green, orange, they had a word for red,1 the color of blood, viscera, our mortal bodies, the life that is in us. The Hebrew אדם (adam) means “son of red earth,” and our word “red” and its cousins (rouge, russet, rust, ruby, ruddy) derive from the Sanskrit word rudhira, meaning “blood.”2

VIII. What Is Poetry? by Peter Robinson

It had been a long day. Starting before dawn, my wife, Ornella Trevisan, and I had driven down from Reading to be in Dorchester in good time for the beginning of a symposium organised by the Thomas Hardy Society and the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society. Our theme was to explore relations between two writers who had lived large parts of their lives in Dorset. I had written and would present a paper on ‘Hardy and Warner Haunting Graveyards’ which explores similarities and differences in their poetry regarding whether not we are equal in death.

IX. Tragedy: The Modern Heist by Alan Wall

The Tragic Dilemma

The gods still lurk in the background of modern tragedy. Characters cock one ear to see if they can make out the congratulation or tears from afar. But they hear nothing, or perhaps they hear the distant sound of laughter. It is not a cheering sound. It is what Samuel Beckett called the mirthless laugh: ‘It is the laugh of laughs, the risus purus, the laugh laughing at the laugh, the beholding, saluting of the highest joke, in a word the laugh that laughs…at that which is unhappy.’ If Aristotle’s requirement for catharsis retains any validity, we are more likely to achieve it in a laugh these days, hollow and silent though it might be.


©Mathilde Bonnefoy, 1990.

X.  Last Poems by Béatrice Douvre, trans. by John Taylor

Farewell to inset words, to glorious words.
Here, a place drunk with blossoming, the enameled field of living. The green water is a face effaced by confines.

Adieu aux mots sertis, aux mots de gloire.
Ici, le lieu ivre de floraisons, le champ émaillé de vivre. L’eau verte est un visage qu’effacent les confins.

Béatrice Douvre (1967–94) was a poet and artist who passed like a comet through the sky of French literature. At the age of thirteen, she began suffering from anorexia, an affliction against which she would struggle throughout her short lifetime. Despite her illness, she managed to study French literature at the University of Nanterre, where she completed a masters thesis under the direction of her professor, the poet Gabrielle Althen, about “anorexia and orexia in the Rimbaud’s oeuvre,” and then a D.E.A. thesis about “color in Yves Bonnefoy’s poetic oeuvre.” Also under Althen’s supervision, she was engaged in writing a doctoral thesis about Pierre Jean Jouve when she died from exhaustion and a heart attack on a train on 19 July 1994. At the time, she had published only a few poems, beginning in 1991, in various literary reviews, but some three hundred poems were found among her papers, as well as a diary, Journal de Belfort.

XI.  Endangered Antiquarian by Will Stone

A Requiem for the Old Bookshops of Europe.

One by one, like lights going out in an office building at dusk, antiquarian bookshops are dying out across Europe, but who is even aware of the implications of this decline apart from their struggling owners and that minority of dedicated bibliophiles who still valiantly support them? The redoubtable secondhand bookshop, that last haven of the fatefully handed-down tome, was once a familiar sight in every English market town, but over the previous decade or so, their numbers have plummeted. 

Anthony Howell reviews The Indian Jungle by Sudhir Kakar

Karnac Books, 2o24 | 9781915565204 (paperback); 9781915565181 (e-book) |

From the word go Sudhir Kakar’s book on psychoanalysis and non-Western civilizations promises to be entertaining as well as enlightening. Initially he points out that most of our knowledge on how human beings feel, think and act is derived from a small subset of the world’s population which he identifies by the acronym WEIRD—Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, and Democratic. He maintains that this subset has a distinctive morality, citing Jonathan Haidt who, while studying morality in twelve groups of different social classes in different countries, told his interviewees stories and assessed their reactions.

Fortnightly Serials

The Fortnightly Review was built in part on the publication of works in serial form, including Anthony Trollope’s three novels, The Belton Estate (1865–66), The Eustace Diamonds (1871–73), and Lady Anna (1871). Current serials include Anthony Howell’s epic-in-progress The Runiad and Alan Wall’s novel White Ivory.

from The Runiad
Anthony Howell

from White Ivory
Alan Wall

See also our Special Issue: The Fortnightly Review Continues (Winter–Spring 2024)

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Poetry Editors: Robert Archambeau (US) and Peter Robinson (UK).

Associate editor: Katie Lehman.

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