Robert Sheppard

From British Standards:

An overdub of The Dancing Girl by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

this is the darkest time though colour fields                                    I
  flex and shimmer in the retinal pool eyes                                    don’t
    shoot dance through thin surfaces this is                                     want
      a weary world flattened indoors into                                        to
           fresh-faced images of fresher faces seen                                  just
               (as they seem) less clearly for our lesser                        make
                   looking she takes the breath she slices moulds form
               its feeling vibrations in creaking knees she                      the
           lifts the line of poetry to shift the limbs                               plastic
      we open the shutters to let in light                                                 hope
    to sharpen all the hopes to harp-notes                                         of
  and unshackle the air and shape the ear she                                    hope
stretches in crooked space to bend it                                             itself

11th April 2020

Robert Sheppard is a poet who lives in Liverpool, England. His most recent publication is Charms and Glitter (with photographer Trev Eales), out from Knives Forks and Spoons; before that was Hap: Understudies of Thomas Wyatt’s Petrarch. This poem is part of a long project transposing sonnets entitled ‘The English Strain’, this part ‘British Standards’. His selected poems, History or Sleep, is available from Shearsman, which also publish The Robert Sheppard Companion, edited by James Byrne and Christopher Madden: this carries essays on his work. Co-editor of the Arc anthology Atlantic Drift with James Byrne, he is also a critic of contemporary poetry. The Meaning of Form is published by Palgrave, and he has published studies of Iain Sinclair and Lee Harwood. Emeritus Professor at Edge Hill University. Web:

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