The Range Taken

The Range Taken: Poems 1979-1982. Leamington: Atlantic Cedar Press, 1985.

The cover makes a rough whale shape cut out of some text from Melville’s Moby Dick. The work is very typical of books produced by poets of the British poetry revival: gestetnered on foolscap and sewn or stapled. Currently unavailable.

The following is an extract from “The theme has vista: pictures out of Budapest.” A poem written following my second visit to Budapest still in Cold War in 1980, and refers to a visit to the Bartok museum in the old city, and a discussion with students on the old city ramparts about new Hungarian pianists afterwards.

as Bartok also
rhythm beneath perception of cross rhythm
in need our life
Transylvanian chair in the old city
bird over lyre
grasses of indeterminate rising
carved in tradition

the quartet turns Schumann into a gypsy
and these old serious peasants of the Kodak
brought to the table by the gentle Andras
one by one

girl barefoot smiling
haypike on back
in a forest’s stone path

the goat’s head reaches out
as if listening with its nose at the flute’s wooden bowl
black lines around its eyes and horns back from throat’s stretch

out of nature by music into nature
making ourselves in everything given
talking on old ramparts
sun warm on old stone
student eyes of all the young colours
fair hair brushed out either side
to a particular question in careful English

it is Ranki Dezo for Chopin and Schumann
Kocsis Zoltan for Bartok
Schiff Andras for Mozart
Bacher Mihaly for Beethoven
Falvai Sandor for Bach

writing the names down
renewing the score
hope rising
walking down Vienna Gate to Moscow Square
past night clubs
is it possible this country has too much music?
of war without war in our time
of these wars