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Peter Redgrove
Posted by: StephenFryer (
Date: June 19, 2003 10:48AM

This is to record the passing of this British poet, who died on Monday at 71.

The Verdurer

The verdurer records
the woodsound in his notebook
to study the tree’s pulses

Indoors. As he returns
he passes under wild pines
wracked by their anguish

To great size.
These trees are avatars
of the books on his shelves,

The foliage blowing open
blowing shut –
he knows their titles,

Scotch Pine, Crackwillow,
and reads their green;

The library is an avatar
of the forest, with each book
a haunted corner

Until he closes
the wooden covers
‘When in such an embrace

Your nerves are shaken as leaves,
enter this shaking’
he leaves

This book or forest
wide open on the wooden table
for its good advice.


Re: Peter Redgrove
Posted by: Keeper of Light (
Date: June 19, 2003 03:13PM

Beautiful tribute. I never heard of the guy, but it was great! Thanks for sharing!

"Loving people is like farting in the wind; You don't actually accomplish anything, but you feel better."

~The Great and Powerful Angelia~

Re: Peter Redgrove
Posted by: StephenFryer (
Date: June 22, 2003 04:07PM

In his book Poetry in the Making, Ted Hughes writes:

'All the poems I have mentioned so far are saturated in some particular moment of the weather. Here is a poem about mists, by Peter Redgrove, that takes a more detached view. He sees the mist, all its moving forms and gesticulations, as a soft swarm of almost living things. He is not so interested in the mood of walking through mists, as he is in their strange nature, their strange kind of life. He calls the poem: Mists.

They do not need the moon for ghostliness
these mists jostling the boles,
these boy-wraiths and ogre-fumes
that hollow to a breasting walk;
they are harmless enough in all conscience,
wetting eyelashes and growing moulds,
and do not speak at all, unless their walking flood
is a kind of languid speech. Like ghosts
dawn filches them for dews.
They wink at me from grasses pushed aside
and impart a high polish to my shoes
that dry in dullness, milky, sloven leather,
from walking in ghostways where tall mists grope.'

What's good enough for Mr Hughes is good enough for me; and this poem meets the Fryer test: has it changed or added to the way I see things? Well, yes it has: I can't see or be in a mist without thinking of the dawn and the dew to come.


Re: Peter Redgrove
Posted by: dennis (
Date: June 26, 2003 11:41AM

Thank you. This saddish poem makes the www seem brighter. Yet,
the trees might not mind such plunder. best dlc

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