Two splendid new publications of Peter Hughes’s on-going project are now available.
Soft Rush (The Red Ceilings Press, www.theredceilingspress.co.uk) contains English versions of Petrarch’s sonnets 67-96:
‘this endlessly rescripted history
of radiant unsuitability
has reached another disastrous milestone
it’s sixteen it’s beautiful & it’s mine’
Quite Frankly (Like This Press, www.likethispress.co.uk) is subtitled ‘After Petrarch Canzoniere 1-28’:
As Peter Riley puts it on the back cover ‘Quite Frankly makes a kind of sausage of Peter Hughes’ skills as a poet—minced, compressed, stretched out in equal lengths and wrapped in a 14th Century skin. As is to be expected, a kind of kaleidoscopic verbal defiance keeps false and narrowed versions of living away, and as the sequence progresses, for all the ironic modernisation and free-play it enters deeper and deeper into a sincere realisation of the modern love-poem.’
References to both these volumes will be found in the forthcoming Shearsman book, An intuition of the particular, some essays on the poetry of Peter Hughes edited by Ian Brinton. This volume is expected in April to stand alongside Shearsman’s Selected Poems of Peter Hughes. The appropriateness of this timing is wonderful since Petrarch asserted that he first saw Laura at Easter Mass on April 6th 1327.