Andrew Crozier (1943-2008)

After a long & busy weekend (the taxes are done & Miles is back at school), a quiet moment to remember Andrew Crozier who died on 3 April. I knew Crozier somewhat in the early seventies in London, though the then raging London vs. Cambridge poetry skirmishes kept a certain distance between us. Which didn’t keep me from picking up any new Ferry Press book he published, and reading his own books as they came out. There was a quiet, very British post-romantic (despite his passage through Olsonian Buffalo in the late sixties, any US influences would come more visibly via the Objectivists, especially Oppen and Rakosi) lyrical sensibility to the work, a careful attention to detail and accurate particulars, qualities well summed-up in a Peter Ackroyd review in The Spectator: “…within the unforced texture of the work there is created that illusion, indispensable to the best poetry, of the familiar being made new again…” Though I think it was more than an illusion. Reread a range of his work last night, from his 1985 volume of Collected Poems, All Where Each Is (Agneau 2) with much pleasure. Here is a poem from Printed Circuit:


Poetry gives most pleasure when only generally,
not perfectly, understood.

Displayed and laid out, featuring the word “new”
New is an old word get a new one
To assist me selling toys
What does it teach other than the fact
You don’t get much nowadays
In 4000 BC the Babylonians had 16 types of beer
I suppose it’s alright, after all
We’ll outlive them. Raise your hat
To the past by all means but take off
Your coat to the future. Carelessness
Can pull down in an hour an enterprise
Has taken years to build. A tenor of
I will not pass this way again
Much to the delight of the audience.
The snow must be two feet deep, I never thought
You’d make it up the path.
Following the country code
Protect wildlife, wild plants and trees
Go carefully on country roads
Respect the life of the countryside
The wildlife of today
Is not ours
To dispose of as we please
We have it in trust and must account for it
To those who come after.
Did you hear about the Scotsman who invented a mousetrap
Which kills the mouse before it eats the cheese?
A cooked goose does not lay eggs
A quack is an unqualified vet
Who treats ducks. A customer in a department store
Was standing doing nothing
I’m not back from lunch yet.
There are women today today
And men with sideburns
Shorter than they ever thought they would be.
All the teachers are cross-eyed
They never could control their pupils.

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