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Cluster index: Anthony Howell

Plum Pudding Books.

Anthony Howell: ‘…ponder the garden of forking paths that a library may conjure up in the mind of a writer such as Borges.’


Anthony Howell: ‘With manipulation, the fault-lines can be re-opened, just as they were re-opened in Yugoslavia, where NATO capitalised on Croatia’s Ustasha (pro-Nazi) back-story and sponsored Muslim fanaticism.’

Two Sequences

Anthony Howell: ‘Nikos and David were an exemplary couple. As I recall those days, they came to everything, and in the most natural way they acknowledged, supported and encouraged their literary and artistic friends.’


Anthony Howell: ‘The literary establishment, that is the commercially published establishment, here in the UK has always frowned on abstract writing and kept the gates closed against us that have engaged in such. But they can’t keep out the slammers.’

Georges Braque: A poetry of things.

Anthony Howell, on Morandi: ‘Ambivalence and ambiguity seem the very subject matter. How can all those objects actually balance on the top of that frail table, a top which seems tilted in our favour?’

Torpedo Fair.

Antony Howell: ‘Wheels on poles there pledge
The broken to the crows.
All battle is for hearts and minds,
So make quite sure she knows
Her rape is being done
By one who murdered her son.’


Anthony Howell: ‘For Dante, Purgatory is just part of his grand scheme. Didactic allegories in verse had already been pioneered by Brunetto Latini, with his Tesoretto appearing in 1295.’

On ‘Freeing Up’.

Anthony Howell: ‘It is often the case that there is something improvisatory about freeing up, and that is just what jazz seemed to offer poets such as Logue and Shiraishi, just as rap is potent for wordsmiths today. But what I do take issue with is this tendency to separate, or seek to separate, the milieu of poetry into some eternal opposition, pitching tightness of form against freedom of expression.’

Three poems.

Anthony Howell: ‘On the night I notice my infection.
Paranoia’s nothing but the truth.
Notoriety of our local murder rate
Encourages our black youth to read the papers.’

Meandering through la Belle-Époque.

Anthony Howell: ‘The impression must include everything, like a poem; the scene it conveys authenticated by each and every sense. Realising this, through Huysmans’ stimulating reviews, I began to wonder about literary impressionism. Who could be considered an impressionist poet? Verlaine? For me, like Marie Cassat, much of the time, he’s a bit wishy-washy.’

Thirteen poems.

Anna de Noailles: ‘A languor now extends itself across the space between us.
Can you feel invading you the scent of drooping grass?
A damp breeze translates the dusk into some garden of despond.’

Against Pound.

Anthony Howell: ‘Can a civilization retire gracefully? Empires increase in intolerance as they fail, indeed their intolerance abets their overthrow. Change overwhelms us, one way or another. But history reveals a growth of civilisation and a die-off, which is a sort of constant. In recent times, it is undeniable that certain innovative technologies achieved vertical take-off. This is a cause for concern rather than celebration.’

Irony, ambiguity and London sleaze.

Anthony Howell: ‘Bathurst is excellent as the gloomy, grieving poet who becomes savagely critical of dates and dining later in the evening. Rebecca Johnson is fascinating as the dying woman who becomes a wraith who is then transformed into the potential flame for an affair which might or might not be reignited by lunch later.’


Anthony Howell: ‘This is likely to be a freewheeling article, reviewing books written ages ago and works which have recently come out, and delving into poetry as well as prose, prose by poets, fiction as well as autobiography, and considering publishing houses as well as their books.’

Five poets remark on prose poetry.

Peter Riley: ‘To avoid endless problems of definition, it would help if they were called “short prose pieces”, which is one thing they undeniably are. This was Eliot’s idea (who hated them). ‘