Tom Raworth’s “As When: A Selection”


by Tom Raworth

for Gordon Brotherston

the green of days : the chimneys

alone : the green of days and the women

the whistle : the green of days : the feel of my nails

the whistle of me entering the poem through the chimneys

plural : i flow from the (each) fireplaces

the green of days : i barely reach the sill

the women’s flecked nails : the definite article

i remove i and a colon from two lines above

the green of days barely reach the sill

i remove es from ices keep another i put the c here

the green of days barely reaches the sill

the beachball : dreaming ‘the’ dream

the dreamball we dance on the beach


gentlemen i am not doing my best

cold fingers pass over my eye (salt)

i flow under the beachball as green waves

which if it were vaves would contain

the picture (v) and the name (aves)

of knots : the beachball : the green sea

through the fireplaces spurting through the chimneys

the waves : the whales : the beachball on a seal

still : the green of days : the exit

* * *

From As When: A Selection by Tom Raworth published this month by Carcanet and available to order here.

 As When spans the range of Tom Raworth’s poetry to date, and includes work omitted from his Collected Poems (2003) as well as poems previously only issued as fugitive cards and broadsides. This edition of Tom Raworth’s poems is beautifully arranged, with an introduction to his life and work long overdue.

As When is the selection I have waited for-the whole spread of a great poet’s work.- Fanny Howe

Click  here to order As When by Tom Raworth with 10% discount and free UK P&P from .

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