5 Poets in The Seventh Quarry

5 Poets in The Seventh Quarry

The Seventh Quarry Swansea Poetry Magazine publishes work from around the world, a book and magazine review, and a profile of a British or a non-British poet with each issue. There is also poetry evening held regularly at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea.

I’ve chosen five pieces that work well, though they’re admittedly not over ambitious. The first is Even the black cow by Mike Jenkins at: http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=19619

It’s a simple piece, reminiscent of the early Ted Hughes, but without his compelling imagery. The first four lines give its flavour:

Even the cow gets tired
   of the crows on its back
      crows on its back

           picking    flicking    flapping

The next is Royal Command by Herbert Williams at : http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=19643
It maintains an easy command of the colloquial through its fifty odd lines, starting with:

Evenings are a problem, the king said,
stirring his coffee. You see,
by day I am in
command, people do as I say,
it all goes like clockwork,

Which is developed into the problems of rulership, an admission that things have always been like this, to conclude :

Can a king exist in such a state?
Oh, easier by far
than the state that I rule.
Confusion, you see, makes no demands.
It accepts. It comforts. It is absolute wisdom.

Rhys Geraint Trimble’s Afternoon pastoral is at: http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=19649
Is too short (ten lines) to quote much from, but we have evening scene exactly described:

copper-gold sun
low-slung amongst
foundry clouds

And then the distance effectively conjured by a telephone call across the valley.

Caroline Gill’s Elegy for Idris Davies needs a little more work to remove the conventional phrases that are not pulling their weight — I’m thinking of the ’empty’, ‘laden’, ‘tell their tale’ and ‘midnight’ in the first and last stanzas quoted here: there are seven stanzas in all – but it’s good to see the traditional poem make an occasional return.

Who hears the bells of Rhymney as they toll?
There are no drams to draw along the tracks:
the empty tarmac waits for laden trucks,
but hollows in the hillside tell their tale.
Stonemasons shed their monumental tears
in mounds below the monkey puzzle’s arm.
A sombre moon cast shadows on the dawn:
a valley dreams beneath the midnight stars.

Caroline Gill’s poem is at:  http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=19394

Finally comes Vince Clemente’s Hopkins Fishes the Elwy at: http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=19383
All fly fishermen will identify with this precisely-observed scene, which ends with the successful:

he waited, certain a trout would take the fly,
already feeling the tug of the line, the ever-so-
slight winch in the wrist, so much like that time
between the raising of the Host

and the breathless taking in.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *