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Tag Archives: Mandy Pannett

Tears in the Fence 63

Tears in the Fence 63

Tears in the Fence 63 is now available from https://tearsinthefence.com/pay-it-forward and features poetry, fiction, non-fiction and translations from Peter Larkin, Laurie Duggan, Geraldine Clarkson, Kathrine Sowerby, Mélisande Fitzsimons, Rethabile Masilo, Sally Dutton, Hugo von Hofmannsthal translated by William Ruleman, Cristina Navazo-Eguía Newton, William Ruleman, Nathan Thompson, Richard Foreman, Melinda Lovell, Charles Wilkinson, Caroline Maldonado, Colin Sutherill, Colin Winborn, Jackie Felleague, Basil King, Eilidh Thomas, Paul Rossiter, Alda Merini translated by Chiara Frenquelluci & Gwendolyn Jensen, Michael Ayers, Helen Moore, Rachael Clyne, Elizabeth Stott, Caitlin Gillespie, Alice Wooledge Salmon, D.N. Simmers, David Ball, Cherry Smyth, John Freeman, Linda Russo, John Brantingham, Roy Patience, Denni Turp, Lesley Burt, Natasha Douglas, Sarah Cave, Valerie Bridge and Steve Spence.

The critical section features Frances Spurrier on Eva Gore-Booth, Dorothy Lehane on Sophie Mayer, Mandy Pannett on Out Of Everywhere 2, Ben Hickman on Tim Allen, Ric Hool on Chris Torrance’s Frinite, Fiona Owen on Jeremy Hooker, Seán Street, Oliver Dixon on English Modernism, Joseph Persad on Maurice Scully, Mark Weiss, Ian Seed on Jeremy Over’s prose poems, Kat Peddie on Marianne Morris, Kelvin Corcoran interviewing Peter Riley on Due North, Belinda Cooke on Antonia Pozzi trans. Peter Robinson, Paul Matthews on Fiona Owen, Mandy Pannett on Pansy Maurer-Alvarez, David Caddy on The New Concrete, Anthony Barnett – Antonym: César Vallejo, Notes On Contributors and Ian Brinton’s Afterword.

Copies are £10. UK Subscriptions £25 for three issues or £40 for six issues.

9 April 2016

Tears in the Fence 62

Tears in the Fence 62

Tears in the Fence 62 is now available from https://tearsinthefence.com/pay-it-forward and features poetry, fiction and essays from Simon Smith, Nancy Gaffield, Patricia Debney, Andy Fletcher, Michael Farrell, John Freeman, Afric McGlinchey, Anamaria Crowe Serrano, Anamaria Crowe Serrano & Robert Sheppard, Sarah Connor, Samuel Rogers, Rose Alana Frith, Michael Grant, Charles Hadfield, Mike Duggan, Dorothy Lehane, Vicki Husband, Hilda Sheehan, Andrew Darlington, David Miller, Karl O’Hanlon, Amy McCauley, Rupert Loydell & Daniel Y Harris, Sam Smith, Rodney Wood, David Greenslade, Lesley Burt, L.Kiew, Graheme Barrasford Young, Andrew Lees, Michael Henry, James Bell, Rhys Trimble, Sophie McKeand, Haley Jenkins, Alexandra Sashe-Seekirchner, Richard Thomas, Alec Taylor and Steve Spence.

The critical section consists of David Caddy’s Editorial, Anthony Barnett’s Antonym, Jennifer K. Dick’s Of Tradition & Experiment XII, Alan Munton on Steve Spence, Andrew Duncan on Kevin Nolan’s Loving Little Orlick, David Caddy on Gillian White’s Lyric Shame, Robert Vas Dias on Jackson Mac Low, Laurie Duggan on Alan Halsey, Chris McCabe on Reading Barry MacSweeney, Mandy Pannett on Angela Gardner, Mary Woodward, Ric Hool on Ian Davidson, William Bonar, Steve Spence on John Hartley Williams, Linda Benninghoff on Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, Notes On Contributors
and Ian Brinton’s Afterword.

21st September 2015

Jongleur in the Courtyard by Mandy Pannett (Indigo Dreams Publishing)

Jongleur in the Courtyard by Mandy Pannett (Indigo Dreams Publishing)

At some point last year after I had written a review-blog about a recently published book of verse about which I was not especially ecstatic I was accused by a friend of the author of being one of those critics who refer to other poets whilst ostensibly focusing upon the subject of the review. Guilty m’lud! And I intend to continue to do that. Perhaps it is part of the legacy I received from being at university in the era that followed on from the world of F.R. Leavis whose staple diet often consisted of placing a poem by one author side-by-side with a poem by another. For instance in the ‘Judgement and Analysis’ section of The Living Principle Leavis put a piece of A.E. Housman next to one by Edward Thomas and concluded that it is a difference in movement that most strikes the reader: ‘whereas Housman’s depends on our being taken up in a kind of lyrical intoxication that shall speed us on in exalted thoughtlessness, satisfied, as we pass, with the surface gleam of ostensible value, Edward Thomas’s invites pondering…and grows in significance as we ponder it’.

On the reverse side of Mandy Pannett’s new book of poems Roger Elkin alerts us to the musical quality of the work:

‘At the heart of the collection lies Mandy Pannett’s skill with sound—these, after all, are songs of the Jongleurs! The chimings of internal rhyme, and assonantal and alliterative sound patternings help to underpin the exquisite, sensitive and varied rhythmic pulse of the collection.’

Well, it was T.S. Eliot who wrote an essay in 1942 titled ‘The Music of Poetry’ and he made a point that must not be overlooked:

‘So, while poetry attempts to convey something beyond what can be conveyed in prose rhythms, it remains, all the same, one person talking to another; and this is just as true if you sing it, for singing is another way of talking.’

Jongleur in the Courtyard is a delightful volume, which brims with literary reference; erudite and careful, it also spills over with a very human voice that fulfils Eliot’s criteria. There are references to Keats, Hardy, Neruda, Kafka, Blake, Cynewulf and, of course, Eliot. The poet of ‘Preludes’ is re-created in ‘Six O’Clock’, a poem which also echoes the feline fogs of ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’. In Pannett’s modern take the fog is now ‘yellow as bile’ and it ‘thickens over a skyline / that’s low, industrial, hot; / red as Whitechapel blood.’
There is a very human voice thrilling down the ribs of these poems and an enviable sense of self-doubt reassures the reader that we can be in a position to share the doubts:

‘There is not an original bone in your frame—
only burlesque, pastiche
and lampoon.’

Perhaps to the reviewer one of the most disturbing and moving of the poems is ‘Some Woodworm’:

‘poor miserable atoms
choked with the fruits
of their soft plunderings

and wiped out
in all the darkness
that once
was chosen as home’.

But, for me, the more moving is the incorporation of a Middle English ballad into a genuine cry for love’s loss in ‘Raven, My Doom’:

‘I am weary of dreams
that offer reflection of my own self
but do not yield him back

though imagination
in these hours of sleep
may reel and spin in exquisite belief

that we might say
what we always intended to say
but never did.’

Ian Brinton 25th June 2015

A Somersault of Doves by Valerie Bridge

A Somersault of Doves by Valerie Bridge

George Mann Publications 2013

There is something fundamentally serious about these poems and I could feel immediately what prompted Mandy Pannett to write, for the back cover, that she was ‘stunned by this collection, overwhelmed by the translucent frost of it and the interconnection of dark and light, death and birth, of brutal facts and an evocative, mystical vision.’

On the lighter side of childhood’s reconstruction we can read ‘Vertigo: or the Art of Flying’ with its evocative echoes of John Crowe Ransom’s ‘Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter’. The American poet’s famously anthologised piece opens with the lines ‘There was such speed in her little body, / And such lightness in her footfall, / It is no wonder her brown study / Astonishes us all.’ Valerie Bridge’s flying childhood presents us with warnings, caution and exhilaration:

‘I’d grown out of my liberty bodice. Mother said,
‘over my dead body,’ when I threatened to give up vests.
‘Don’t climb trees’ she’d already shouted. Then,
‘Don’t go near the edge. Don’t cry.’ I hesitated,

climbed the gap-toothed staircase fast as fast,
with boys from the square, got down with my eyes shut,
ran to the Peter Pan tree, swung over the top at the swings,
landed smack on my head, fainted. Lied.’

The accumulation of whole sentences and individual clauses in the first stanza here opens out into the fluidity of stanza two where the accumulation of childhood associations breaks loose from restriction: ‘fast as fast’, ‘boys from the square’, ‘ran’, Peter Pan’, ‘swung’ to ‘swings’ and ‘smack’ to ‘Lied’.

In contrast, ‘Deben Beach: His Blonde Child 1943’ has a solemnity and poignant yearning that reminds me of both Radnóti and Mandelstam:

‘The escape is a hillside of poppies
drifting onto the beach at Deben
where through the barb of wire,
skull and cross bones,
he sees this fat lorry tyre,
the tread as good and deep
as furrows in fresh-tilled earth.
The sun casts rich shadows
and as his friend lights his pipe,
the dare is exchanged.’

There is an individual voice here, a personal relighting of memory and narrative, stories told to children who listen with thumb to mouth as their own pasts rise before them.

In the introduction to Six Latvian Poets (published by Arc in 2011) the editor, Ieva Lešinska, wrote

‘An overt engagement with history or social issues is almost totally absent from their work—perhaps because of an instinctive fear that the weight of history may turn out to be too much to bear and may squash their own creativity, perhaps because of a desire to place themselves in the broader context of world literature or simply because of a youthful opposition to their predecessors.’

This sense of a personal voice which is earned through experience shines through Valerie Bridge’s collection. It is moving and it is a delight. Read it!

Ian Brinton 4th November 2014

Tears in the Fence 59

Tears in the Fence 59

Tears in the Fence 59 is now available from https://tearsinthefence.com/pay-it-forward and features poetry, fiction and nonfiction from Lucy Burnett, Anne Gorrick, Colin Sutherill, Peter Larkin, Mark Goodwin, Chris Hall, Sue Chenette, Stefan Zweig translated by William Ruleman, Lesley Burt, June English, Sheila Hamilton, Rachel Sills, Mandy Pannett, Janet Rogerson, Valerie Bridge, Elizabeth Stott, Seàn Street, Charles Hadfield, Natalie Bradbeer, Grahaeme Barrasford Young, Charles Wilkinson, Eleanor Rees, Christos Sakellaridis, Carole Birkan, James Bell, Nicolas Ridley, Gerald Locklin, Caroline Clark, Simon Jenner, Rosie Jackson, Geraldine Clarkson and Steve Spence.

The critical section includes David Caddy’s Editorial, Anthony Barnett’s Antonym: A Disaccumulation of Knowledge, A Conversation Piece with John Freeman by Gavin Goodwin, Jennifer K. Dick’s Of Tradition and Experiment X: Five Small Press Publications, Peter Hughes on John Hall, Ben Hickman on Keston Sutherland, Norman Jope on recent Waterloo Press books, Elizabeth Stott on Kathleen Jones’ biography of Norman Nicholson, Juha Virtanen on recent Knives Forks and Spoons Press publications, Tom Jenks on Robert Sheppard, Mandy Pannett on Valerie Bridge, Rosie Jackson’s Between The Lines, Anthony Barnett’s Antonym: Gunnar Ekelöf ’s Table and Ian Brinton’s Aferword.

Mandy Pannett’s All The Invisibles

Mandy Pannett’s All The Invisibles

Mandy Pannett’s All The Invisibles (SPM Publications, 2012) is an uplifting, grounded and coherent collection of poems that stem from a deep absorption in the history and mythology of the English landscape and natural world. It is a living awareness of the literary and historical associations of the people, animals and wildlife that live on or near the land. These diverse poems, wonderfully rooted in the things of the world that inspire and intrigue, converge into a pattern of existence that is at once both magical and lived in the raw.  The great strength of these poems is that they are open to the natural world in both its light and shade. Pannett, a regular contributor to Tears in the Fence for the past two decades, has a keen awareness of the potential and danger within the borderland of wilderness and a cultivated culture, impinged as it is by knowledge and shadow. Many of the poems point to a movement outside of ordinary relationships that stunts, liberates or neutralizes. This frisson undercuts the poems that offer sunlight to produce a continual counter-movement of broken bliss. The heart and body is at once, through reference to the Romantics, geology, toxins and decomposition, out of kilter with and vulnerable to the dialectic of the land.

 

The Hurt Of Man

 

…                      A black and wolvish

world of ice, too thick at first

 

to shatter-cut while hurt of man

is seeding in the grass. Enough

 

to measure shadows with a twig

and cranberry notch, for time to turn around

 

the waning moon. Violating

silent girls he sees that those who plough

 

the viper fight for guts of fish. Now

a wolf devours the light …

 

 

This exceptional collection, written by a poet who understands her craft and is finding more than mystery in the world, is highly recommended.

 

David Caddy

 

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