Distorted and lingering, ‘Ant!, Dad!, Tats!’
grown interchangeable, explosive,
each sounding furious.
A search for keys in one room
nourishes fear of lateness in another.
From a kettle filled and boiling
to the weather, daily noise is damned
for drowning the needs of now!
My reply is weapon and filibuster,
deliberate sotto voce, below war level,
another trait of my father
I will never perfect:
I’m here, Can’t hear you, What is it?,
screaming inside ‘Who died?’
Because everything is not where we left it
history will revisit us tomorrow
at approximately the same time.
The door is almost closed
and we have not said our goodbyes yet.
by Anthony Wilson
Notes from Worple Press:
On Valentine’s Day, 2006, Anthony Wilson was formally diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. ‘Beginning with what happened’, the poems in Riddance chart the progress of his treatment for this disease, from initial diagnosis to the uncertain territory of remission. Even more essentially, they recover and celebrate all that is most fundamental and affirming about the act of living.
Anthony Wilson is a poet, writing tutor and lecturer at the University of Exeter. His books of poetry are Riddance (Worple Press, 2012), Full Stretch: Poems 1996-2006 (Worple Press, 2006), Nowhere Better Than This (Worple Press, 2002) and How Far From Here is Home? (Stride, 1996). He is also the author of a prose memoir, Love for Now (Impress Books, 2012), detailing his experience of cancer. Anthony has held writing residencies at The Poetry Society, The Times Educational Supplement, The Poetry Trust and Tate Britain, and he works as a tutor for the Arvon Foundation. He is editor of Creativity in Primary Education (Learning Matters, 2009), and co-editor of Making Poetry Matter (Continuum, 2013), and The Poetry Book for Primary Schools (Poetry Society, 1998). Find out more at the poet’s website here.
Worple Press was founded by Peter and Amanda Carpenter in 1997. Since then they have published a wide range of authors, including Iain Sinclair, Joseph Woods, Elizabeth Cook, Beverley Bie Brahic, Clive Wilmer and Kevin Jackson. They published the selected poems of the acclaimed American nature poet Peter Kane Dufault for the first time in the UK (Looking in All Directions); this was followed in 2007 by Kane Dufault’s To be in the same world. Peter Robinson’s The Great Friend and Other Translated Poems was the Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation for Spring 2002. This impressive backlist was augmented in 2012 by three significant titles: Passio: Fourteen Poems by Janos Pilinszky from Clive Wilmer and George Gomori; Riddance by Anthony Wilson; and the republication of William Hayward’s cult novel from 1964, It Never Gets Dark All Night. Over 2013 and 2014 new titles include work from John Greening, Michael McKimm, Peter Robinson, Mary Woodward and Sally Flint. More information can be found on Worple Press’s new website and Facebook page.