Robert Hampson: Poems

Robert Hampson writes:

Ever since I wrote some of the work that appeared in reworked disasters (kfs, 2013), I have been interested in exploring the sonnet form through found materials. ‘The sonnets ‘white upon white’ and ‘memories read as dreams’, part of a sequence called earthborn(e), sample and write through critical texts by Mae Losasso and Amy Evans Bauer with the compact space of the sonnet stretched to link North American cities with Italy and Greece, respectively. ‘Sonnet 61’, which is a rewriting of Shakespeare’s sonnet 61 in response to Sophie Seita’s take on it in her ‘Texts on Translation’ (Subsisters, 2017), is a straggler from an earlier sequence, blood moon, which engaged with the contemporary through the language of various texts on Shakespeare. The sonnets of serie noire take off from a three-day visit to Paris and from the Japanese word nagori (meaning remains, traces, vestiges, the sorrow of parting, but also, as Lisa Robertson informed me, the taking of pleasure in that last experience). The visit took place just days before the UK left the EU, and lockdown has given the poems an added poignancy for me. ‘Covode 18’ is the penultimate poem in the sequence Covodes 1-19 (Artery Editions, forthcoming), a fragmented, long-form documentation of the last year.


To read the poems: Robert Hampson Poems




Robert Hampson is Professor of Modern Literature in the English Department at Royal Holloway, University of London. During the 70s he co-edited (with Ken Edwards and Peter Barry) the magazine Alembic which, among other things, was instrumental in introducing North American LANGUAGE poetry to England. More recently, he has edited another poetry magazine, purge. He also co-edited (with Peter Barry) New British Poetries: The Scope of the Possible. His collections of poetry include: Degrees of Addiction, A Necessary Displacement, A City at War, Seaport, and C for Security. His selected poems, Assembled Fugitives, was published by Stride in 2000.Covodes 1-19 will be published by Artery editions later this year


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