Writing on Air (against my better judgement)

The Poetry Library at London’s Royal Festival Hall will become the permanent home to the world’s largest collection of modern poetry, as Arts Council England formally transfers ownership to the Southbank Centre in recognition of its long term development and care of the collection. The new ownership coincides with a major new digitisation project, funded by Arts Council England. In celebration, the Poetry Library has commissioned poet Hannah Silva to write a new piece, to be performed at the Southbank Centres London Literature Festival on National Poetry Day (6 October) and broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb.

You can listen to the commissioned poem and discussion on The Verb here:

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07xhzz9

On my first visits to The Poetry Library they showed me everything: Folders full of postcards, drawers of posters, albums of author photos, cabinets of tapes, and hundreds of files on poets.

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I needed to write just one new poem… The sensible approach would be to zoom in on one topic and write a poem in response to it… But then the vastness of the collection is a big part of what makes it so exciting. I began to wonder if I could make something that encompasses the scope of the material and all of the poets housed by the library.

There’s a small room behind the bookcases in the Poetry Library. It has a ladder in it, and a wall filled with files full of press cuttings on poets. The first row goes like this:

AA-ABR; ABS; AC; ADA; ADCOCK; ADC-AG; AH-AI; AJ-ALC; ANNA AKHMATOVA; ALD-ALF; ALG-ALLE; ALLI-ALO; ALV; AMA-AMM; KINGSLEY AMIS; ANA-ANE; ANG-ANY; API-ARL; ARM-ARZ: SIMON ARMITAGE; ASA-ASH; JOHN ASHBERY; ASK-ATW; MARGARET ATWOOD; AU; W.H.AUDEN; AV-AZ; BAB-BAK; BAL-BAP; BAR-BARK; GEORGE BARKER; BARL- BARS; BART; BAS-BAZ; BEA-BEC; SAMUEL BECKETT; BED-BEE; BEG-BELL; BELLE-BENN; BENS-BERF; BERG-BERO; BERRI-BERRY; JOHN BETJEMAN; BERRYMAN-BEY; BHA-BID; RUTH BIDGOOD; BIE-BIR; ELIZABETH BISHOP; EAVAN BOLAND: BORA-BORN; BORO-BOT; BOU-BOW; BOX-BOZ; BRAC-BRAN; BRAS-BRAZ; BREA-BREL; BREN-BREY; BRI; BROA-BROD; JOSEPH BRODSKY; RUPERT BROOKE; BRON-BROV; GEORGE MACKAY BROWN; BROWN; ALAN BROWNJOHN; BRU-BRY; BUA-BULL; CHARLES BUKOWSKI; BASIL BUNTING; BURB-BURL; BURN-BURNS, J; BRUNS, K-BURNSHAW; JOHN BURNSIDE; BURR- BUS; BUT; BY; CA-CALDER; CALDWELL-CAMB; CAME-CAMP; CAMS-CARR; CARL-CARR; CARS; CAT-CAZ; CEA-CET; CEN-CHAP; CHAR-CHAU; CHE-CHIL; CHIM-CLAP; CLAM-CLARKE; CLARK; CLARK; CLARKE; GILLIAN CLARKE; CLARY-CLE; CLI-CLU; COA-COL; COLE-COLLIE; COLLIN-COM; BILLY COLLINS; CONA-CONQU; CONRAD-CONSTANTINE; COOK-COOP; COOT-COPE; COPI-CORB; CORC-CORN; CORP-COV; COW-COZ; CRAB- CROZ; CRU-CUM; CUN-CURN; CURR-CZ; DAB-DAH; DAI-DAL; DAM-DAN; DAM-DAN; DAO-DARU; DARW-DAS; DAT-DAVID; DARW-DAS; DAVIE; DAVIES, A- DAVIES, I; DAVIES, J- DAVIES Z; DAVIS-DAW; CECIL DAY-LEWIS; DAY-DEAR; DE BEAUVOIR- DELA; WALTER DE LA MARE; DEO-DH; DIA-DICKEY; DICKINSON; DID-DIP; DIS-DJ; DOA-DOL; MICHAEL DONAGHY; DONA-DONN; DONO-DOOLEY; DOP-DOT; DOU; DOV-DOY; DUA-DUF; CAROL ANN DUFFY; T.S.ELIOT…

Some poets get a whole folder to themselves, most of us have to share – I looked for myself…a paper-world version of googling myself. I’ve got a little file in the folder SIA-SIL. I found a cutting of an article I contributed to for Magma – and that I’ve never actually seen before…Poetry librarian Chris McCabe told me that any poet who is mentioned in one of the poetry presses gets a file. Every week a librarian goes through them all and cuts them out and puts them in folders in the large cupboard. It’s like having a doting grandparent making a scrapbook of memories. Chris described it as a method that has no agenda, but of course it does elevate print above digital presence. A poet might be reviewed and listened to and watched online, and have a large audience, but they don’t get a file in the cupboard until they are mentioned on paper.

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All these files will be digitised as part of the project. I wanted to make something that required both going into that room and handling paper files, but that also could only be made from digitised material. I’m excited by the ways different platforms for reading and tools such as search engines can impact the way we write and research. For my solo show Schlock! I did a word search for the word ‘pain’ on my Kindle edition of Fifty Shades of Grey. I listed all the lines containing the word ‘pain’ and this is a section of the performance – something that would be too time consuming to do from the printed copy (and would involve actually reading the book cover to cover).

I started looking up lines from poems by all of the poets whose names are written down the side of a folder (a detail that doesn’t show up in the Poetry Library catalogue). The first two lines I found had the word ‘air’ in them. It occurred to me that every poet must have written a line of poetry that contains the word ‘air’. The only (practical) way of collecting these lines is by searching online. Most were easy to find. The method didn’t work for just one poet – Peter Reading. So I went into his file and immediately spotted a poem with the word air in it: “neighbourly now, mutual Geigered air croaks”. Seamus Heaney’s line is on his gravestone: “walk on air against your better judgment.”[1] I made quick choices about how much of the lines to capture.

I didn’t feel like a poet, I felt like a researcher, or a librarian. Sometimes writing a poem can seem like an impossibly concentrated task, the impulse is focused, the final poem is short… and this also makes it intimidating, it’s not easy to go straight to that kind of concentration of idea and language. By doing this slow, obsessive task I was forced to slow down, to forget about the end goal of writing a poem and to just write…literally type…words. I could let my own idea for a poem seed very gradually in the air. (I find poems write themselves better when you avoid looking at them directly.) As well as collecting all the lines using the word ‘air’, I wrote down all the letters on the sides of the files (something that can only be done in that room).

It’s funny how we set rules for ourselves, and then pedantically stick to them. It became very important not to miss anything out. I did most of it standing on the ladder in the large cupboard holding my laptop and typing until my arms ached. I tried performing the resulting list… all the ‘TOA-TOM’ sounds in-between the named poets and their lines containing air, to make a kind of sound poem:

FRA; FRE; FRI;

ROBERT FROST; Making the gravel leap and leap in air[2]

FRO-FRY; FUE-FULLER;

ROY FULLER: “Soliloquy in an air raid”[3]

FUL-FYE; GAB-GAL; GAM-GARL; GARM- GAS; GAT-GEW; GH-GIF; GIL-GIN;

ALAN GINSBERG: “soon-to-be-toothless mouth of sunny air”[4]

 

Finally I took my list (in alphabetical order) of all the lines of poetry that poets have made from air and used them to make a new poem. I re-wrote some lines, sliced lots of parts of lines together and used a few as they are, such as my favourite line, by Adrienne Rich: “The clear atoms of our human air”. (It feels less like plagiarism to quote lines directly rather than tweak them)… But I could only keep lines as they are when they fit this new poem. Others I had to cut, such as Sylvia Plath’s: “I eat men like air”, although I changed ‘men’ to ‘women’ the line still jumped out.

Here are the lines that I used and how I used them:

 

SIMON ARMITAGE: “My first word, everyone’s first word, was air”[5]
JOHN ASHBERY: “air breathed into a paper city”[6]
MARGARET ATWOOD: “to be the air that inhabits you”[7]
W.H.AUDEN: “Into this neutral air”[8]
SAMUEL BECKETT: “The air is full of our cries”[9]
JOHN BETJEMAN: “Lark songs and sea sounds in the air”[10]

becomes:

This air

is your first word
breathed into a paper city
and made neutral
like cries and sea sounds.

The second stanza:

RUTH BIDGOOD: “A goshawk climbs a tower of air and is gone”[11]
ELIZABETH BISHOP: “the air suddenly clear”[12]
EAVAN BOLAND: “severing her body from its native air until”[13]
CAROL ANN DUFFY: “scribble itself on the air”[14]
T.S.ELIOT: “stirred by the air”[15]

becomes:

You climb a tower of air
and are gone, suddenly clear.
Your body severed from air until
you reappear, scribbled on the air
stirred by it.

The next stanza:

MICHAEL DONAGHY: “The very air we take into our lungs”[16]
ROBERT FROST: “Making the gravel leap and leap in air”[17]
ROY FULLER: “Soliloquy in an air raid”[18]
ALAN GINSBERG: “soon-to-be-toothless mouth of sunny air”[19]
LOUISE GLUCK: “Reared in the polluted air”[20]
LAVINIA GREENLAW: “could not tell glass from air”[21]
PHILIP GROSS: “there’s really nothing to it, poetry, just air, hot air”[22]

becomes:

You leap and leap over
the very air I take into my lungs,
a soon-to-be toothless soliloquy
of polluted air. We cannot
tell glass from air.
There’s really nothing to it,
just air, hot air.

IAN HAMILTON: “Your fingers in the air”[23]
THOMAS HARDY: “His happy good-night air”[24]
DAVID HARSENT: “That pulse in the air is the sudden onrush of souls”[25]
LEE HARWOOD: “Air Clamps”
[26]

Your perfume on the air
your happy good-night air
the pulse in the air, a sudden
onrush. Air-clamps.

ANTHONY HECHT: “Ghosts from the ovens, sifting through crisp air”[27]
GEOFFREY HILL: “Against the burly air I strode”[28]
TED HUGHES: “Thistles spike the summer air”[29]
ROBERT LOWELL: “still all air and nerve”[30]

Your ghost sifts through
burly air. I steady the air
beneath you. I spike the thistles
of your summer air but you show
nothing, all air and nerve.

NORMAN McCAIG; “When the air creaked”[31]
HUGH MacDIARMID; “Placing an inch of air there”,[32]
LOUIS MACNEICE: “The bell was silent in the air”[33]
ROGER McGOUGH: “I give you clean air”[34]
DEREK MAHON: “Dominion of stale air and rank moisture.”[35]
GLYN MAXWELL (file 1); “my heart is air”[36]
GLYN MAXWELL (file 2): “but the thing’s outside, pawing the air”[37]
DON PATERSON: “When will the air stop breathing?”[38]

 

When the air creaked
I placed an inch of air there.
When the bell was silent in the air
I gave you clean air, stale air and
condensation. My heart and your
heart are air. We’re still
outside, pawing the air.
When will the air stop?

PETER PORTER: “they will consume fresh air”[39]
PETER REDGROVE: “A strange shining taste in the air.”[40]
ADRIENNE RICH: “the clear atoms of our human air”[41]
PETER RUSSELL: “the air is very cold and still”[42]
PENELOPE SHUTTLE: “air pockets”[43]
JOHN SILKIN “Cut out of the air”[44]
STEVIE SMITH: “My teeth met nothing but air”[45]
CHARLES SIMIC: “Rolled over with its feet in the air”[46]
STEPHEN SPENDER: “And left the vivid air signed with their honour”[47]

I consume your shining taste,
the clear atoms of human air.
Very cold. Very still. Sniffed.
Cut air pockets out of the air,
my teeth met nothing but air
vivid air signed with their feet.

ANNE STEVENSON: “a feeling bare and frondish in surprising air”[48]
GEORGE SZIRTES: “If poetry were just a matter of the air”[49]
JOHN UPDIKE: “its ladder stiffened by air”[50]

A bare, surprising air
a belly flop through air
a blindfolded part.
If poetry were a ladder
stiffened by air.
DYLAN THOMAS: “You there, my friend, with a winning air”[51]
R.S.THOMAS: “the air a suitcase”[52]
SEAN O’BRIEN: “The sound that hangs behind the air”[53]
KENNETH WHITE: “A flying bird leaves no tracks in the air”[54]

You there, yes, your air
is my suitcase, I fill you
with the sounds that hang
behind, the fingertips that
touch only to leave no marks
in the air between us.

… It has become a homage to ways poets have used the same air, breathed it, made it substance, shaped it. The lines I like the most are the ones that make air visible – making the invisible visible is what poetry does. Poetry carves words from the air, builds images in the air, shapes the air with sound. When we recite poetry, we sculpt words from the air. Two poets referred to poetry as air: “there’s really nothing to it, poetry, just air, hot air” (Philip Gross)[55] and “If poetry were just a matter of the air” (George Szirtes). I wanted to acknowledge this affinity of poetry with air, and put Szirtes’ line together with a line by John Updike: “its ladder stiffened by air” to become: “If poetry were a ladder stiffened by air”.

I love the references to air as something that can be moved, and heard: “When the air creaked,”[56] (Norman McCaig) and placed: “Placing an inch of air there”[57] (Hugh MacDiarmid) and climbed: “A goshawk climbs a tower of air and is gone”[58] (Ruth Bidgood) and how air might become a container for us to pack our lives into: “the air a suitcase” [59] (R.S Thomas).

Is it ‘my poem’ now? I wouldn’t want to publish it without acknowledging all of the above but at the same time – if a line doesn’t work I can’t defend it with ‘but that’s what T.S Eliot wrote’… all the lines have to work in this poem. The rules I used to make it aren’t important anymore; it needs to breath on its own. It has become a love poem.

The full list of lines containing air can by found below ‘This Air’ – with huge thanks to the Poetry Library, and to all of the poets who have written about air:

 

This air

is your first word
breathed into a paper city
and made neutral
like cries and sea sounds.

You climb a tower of air
and are gone, suddenly clear.
Your body severed from air until
you reappear, scribbled on the air
stirred by it.

You leap and leap over
the very air I take into my lungs,
a soon-to-be toothless soliloquy
of polluted air. We cannot
tell glass from air,
there’s really nothing to it,
just air, hot air.

Your perfume on the air
your happy good-night air
the pulse in the air
a sudden onrush
air-clamps.

Your ghost sifts through
burly air. I steady the air beneath you
I spike the thistles of your summer air
but you show nothing, all air and nerve.

When the air creaked
I placed an inch of air there.
When the bell was silent in the air
I gave you clean air, stale air and
condensation. My heart and your heart
are air. We’re still outside,
pawing the air.
When will the air stop?

I consume your shining
taste, the clear atoms of human air.
Very cold. Very still. Sniffed.
Cut air pockets out of the air
my teeth met nothing but air
vivid air signed with their feet

A bare, surprising air
a belly flop through air
a blindfolded part.
If poetry were a ladder
stiffened by air.

You there, yes, your air
is my suitcase, I fill you
with the sounds that hang
behind, the fingertips that touch
only to leave no marks
in the air between us.

 

Here are all the lines containing ‘air’ by poets who have a folder to themselves in the large cupboard of the Poetry Library:

ANNA AKHMATOVA: “the air was not ours,[60]

SIMON ARMITAGE: “My first word, everyone’s first word, was air”[61]

JOHN ASHBERY: “air breathed into a paper city”[62]

MARGARET ATWOOD: “to be the air that inhabits you”[63]

W.H.AUDEN: “Into this neutral air”[64]

GEORGE BARKER: “flit about and fill the air”[65]

SAMUEL BECKETT: “The air is full of our cries”[66]

JOHN BETJEMAN: “Lark songs and sea sounds in the air”[67]

RUTH BIDGOOD: “A goshawk climbs a tower of air and is gone”[68]

ELIZABETH BISHOP: “the air suddenly clear”[69]

EAVAN BOLAND: “severing her body from its native air until”[70]

JOSEPH BRODSKY: “in the air like a page’s soiled corners”[71]

RUPERT BROOKE: “A body of England’s, breathing English air”[72]

GEORGE MACKAY BROWN: “He swung through the air”[73]

ALAN BROWNJOHN: “had resigned itself to the Air over the fields”[74]

CHARLES BUKOWSKI: “I could throw oranges, bananas, tomatoes through the air”[75]

GILLIAN CLARKE: “the air stammering with gunfire”[76]

BILLY COLLINS: “Bobbed around my head in the bright air”[77]

WALTER DE LA MARE: “The sweet night air to enter in”[78]

MICHAEL DONAGHY: “The very air we take into our lungs”[79]

CAROL ANN DUFFY: “scribble itself on the air”[80]

T.S.ELIOT: “stirred by the air”[81]

TONY HARRISON: “you’re like bookends, the pair of you”[82]

ROBERT FROST; Making the gravel leap and leap in air[83]

ROY FULLER: “Soliloquy in an air raid”[84]

ALAN GINSBERG: “soon-to-be-toothless mouth of sunny air”[85]

LOUISE GLUCK: “Reared in the polluted air”[86]

W S. GRAHAM: “restore to never forswear my air breathe in the lamblood-reddened deep”[87]

ROBERT GRAVES: “Fade water, air, earth”[88]

LAVINIA GREENLAW: “could not tell glass from air”[89]

PHILIP GROSS: “there’s really nothing to it, poetry, just air, hot air”[90]

THOM GUNN: “A tutor’s indignation works on air”[91]

IVOR GURNEY: “Suddenly into the still air burst hudding”[92]

IAN HAMILTON: “Your fingers In the air”[93]

THOMAS HARDY: “His happy good-night air”[94]

DAVID HARSENT: ““That pulse in the air is the sudden onrush of souls”[95]

LEE HARWOOD: “Air Clamps”[96]

SEAMUS HEANEY: “walk on air against your better judgment”[97]

ANTHONY HECHT: “Ghosts from the ovens, sifting through crisp air”[98]

GEOFFREY HILL: “Against the burly air I strode[99]

SELIMA HILL: “that serenely happy air about it that Mary’s naked bush used to have”[100]

GERALD MANLEY HOPKINS: “Of the rolling level underneath him steady air”[101]

TED HUGHES: “front paw in mid-air”[102]

TED HUGHES: Thistles spike the summer air[103]

KATHLEEN JAMIE; foremost with a queenly air[104]

JACKIE KAY: “No fresh air”[105]

BRENDAN KENNELLY; They held hands in mid-air and sang[106]

PHILIP LARKIN: “the deep blue air, that shows nothing”[107]

ROBERT LOWELL: “still all air and nerve”[108]

NORMAN McCAIG; “When the air creaked”[109]

HUGH MacDIARMID; “Placing an inch of air there”,[110]

LOUIS MACNEICE: “The bell was silent in the air”[111]

ROGER McGOUGH: “I give you clean air”[112]

DEREK MAHON: “Dominion of stale air and rank moisture.”[113]

GLYN MAXWELL (file 1); “my heart is air”[114]

GLYN MAXWELL (file 2); but the thing’s outside, pawing the air[115]

JAMES MERRILL; Their shadows over limbs submerged in ‘air’[116]

CZESLAW MILOSZ; The voice of a violin lasts in the air[117]

ADRIAN MITCHELL: “he breathed in air”[118]

JOHN MONTAGUE: “streaming through the air”[119]

MARIANNE MOORE: “Rapidly cruising or lying on the air there is a bird”[120]

EDWIN MORGAN: “airgold!”[121]

ANDREW MOTION: “it was the fresh air”[122]

PAUL MULDOON: “walking on air”[123]

LES MURRAY: “the first air, weird and thin”[124]

PABLO NERUDA; take air away, but do not take from me your laughter.[125]

SEAN O’BRIEN: “An air made half of anger, half of fear”[126]

FRANK O’HARA: “the cabs stir up the air”[127]

SHARON OLDS: “like food or air she was there”[128]

WILFRED OWEN: “Regained cool peaceful air in wonder”[129]

RUTH PADEL: “air for our children”[130]

DON PATERSON: “When will the air stop breathing?”[131]

TOM PAULIN: “in its box of air”[132]

MARIO PETRUCCI: “first
time on air”[133]

SYLVIA PLATH: “I eat men like air”[134]

PETER PORTER: “they will consume fresh air”[135]

CRAIG RAINE: “This new coldness in the air”[136]

KATHLEEN RAINE: “his blinding sight, his moving air”[137]

PETER READING: “neighbourly now, mutual Geigered air croaks”

PETER REDGROVE: “A strange shining taste in the air.”[138]

ADRIENNE RICH: “the clear atoms of our human air”[139]

EZRA POUND: “For my surrounding air hath a new lightness”[140]

ISAAC ROSENBERG: “The air is loud with death”[141]

CAROL RUMENS: “pulse in the black air”[142]

PETER RUSSELL: “the air is very cold and still”[143]

SIEGFRIED SASSOON: “sniffed the unwholesome air”[144]

PENELOPE SHUTTLE: “air pockets”[145]

JOHN SILKIN “Cut out of the air”[146]

CHARLES SIMIC: “Rolled over with its feet in the air”[147]

STEVIE SMITH: “My teeth met nothing but air”[148]

STEPHEN SPENDER: “And left the vivid air signed with their honour”[149]

PAULINE STAINER: “Of fish from the air”[150]

WALLACE STEVENS: “And tall and of a port in air”[151]

ANNE STEVENSON: “a feeling bare and frondish in surprising air”[152]

MATTHEW SWEENEY: “and flutter through the air”[153]

GEORGE SZIRTES: “If poetry were just a matter of the air”[154]

DYLAN THOMAS: “ And down the other air and the blue altered sky”[155]

DYLAN THOMAS (file 1); You there, my friend, with a winning air.[156]

EDWARD THOMAS (file 1); The air raised not a straw[157]

EDWARD THOMAS (file 2); Painted by the wild air

R.S THOMAS (file 1); The air windless, a few last[158]

R.S.THOMAS: “the air a suitcase”[159]

CHARLES TOMLINSON: “On evening space in the after-rain June air”[160]

JOHN UPDIKE: “its ladder stiffened by air”[161]

DEREK WALCOTT: “fiddling the dank air”[162]

VERNON WATKINS: “Confusing sea with air”[163]

KENNETH WHITE: “A flying bird leaves no tracks in the air”[164]

RICHARD WILBUR: “The morning air is all awash with angels”[165]

HUGO WILLIAMS: “an up-draught of warm air”[166]

JOHN HARTLEY WILLIAMS; Dead air[167]

SEAN O’BRIEN: “The sound that hangs behind the air”[168]

WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS: “The Wedding Dance in the Open Air”[169]

W.B YEATS: “Till stars grew out of the air.”[170]

BENJAMIN ZEPHANIAH: “too many cars mean dire air”[171]

 

References:

 

[1] The Gravel Walks: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-33931232

[2] Home Burial: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/53086

[3] Soliloquy in an Air-Raid: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=22829

[4] Sunflower Sutra http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/g_l/ginsberg/onlinepoems.htm

[5] In Praise of Air: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/worlds-first-air-cleansing-poem-1.373843

[6] Spring Day: http://www.theparisreview.org/poetry/4314/two-poems-john-ashbery

[7] Variation on the Word Sleep: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/variation-word-sleep

[8] September 1, 1939: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/september-1-1939

[9] Waiting for Godot: http://www.cerisepress.com/04/12/the-air-is-full-of-our-cries-samuel-becketts-voices/view-all

[10] Seaside Golf: http://www.st-enodoc.co.uk/the-club/john-betjeman.html

[11] Illusion: https://www.serenbooks.com/productdisplay/time-being

[12] Intimate, Low-Voiced, Delicate Things: http://lavenderpoems.com/elizabeth-bishops-love-poems/

[13] A Woman Without A Country: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/detail/56177

[14] Death of a Teacher: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jan/31/carol-ann-duffy-oxford-professory-poetry

[15] The Waste Land (II. A Game of Chess): https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47311

[16] Pentecost: http://www.thedarkhorsemagazine.com/Resources/Mason%20on%20Donaghy.pdf

[17] Home Burial: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/53086

[18] Soliloquy in an Air-Raid: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=22829

[19] Sunflower Sutra http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/g_l/ginsberg/onlinepoems.htm

[20] Cottonmouth Country: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/g_l/gluck/online.htm

[21] Empty Metaphor https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/oct/14/casual-perfect-lavinia-greenlaw-poetry-review

[22] The Boat Made of Poems: http://www.philipgross.co.uk/poems.htm

[23] Last Respects: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hamilton-Collected-Poems-Alan-Jenkins/dp/0571295347

[24] The Darkling Thrush: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44325

[25] Fire: a party at the world’s end: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/11340858/David-Harsent-a-writer-we-should-treasure.html

[26] Air Clamps: http://www.argotistonline.co.uk/Harwood%20interview.htm

[27] “More Light! More Light!”: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/49086

[28] Genesis: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/geoffrey-hill-poetry-should-be-shocking-and-surprising/

[29] Thistles: https://micheleduclos.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/shamanic-traces-in-20th-century-poetry-ted-hughes-and-kenneth-white/

[30] Man and Wife: http://www.shigeku.org/xlib/lingshidao/waiwen/lowell.htm

[31] Sounds of The Day: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poems/sounds-day

[32] Scotland: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poems/scotland-0

[33] https://apoemforeveryday.com/2015/07/31/meeting-point-by-louis-macneice/ Meeting Point

[34] Give and Take: https://performapoem.lgfl.org.uk/public/poems/mcgough_poem.pdf

[35] A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford: http://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/a-disused-shed-in-county-wexford/

[36] The Old Lad: https://literature.britishcouncil.org/writer/glyn-maxwell

[37] This Whiteness: http://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the_best_american_poetry/2014/05/glyn-maxwell-is-sometimes-considered-a-difficult-poet-but-not-in-the-tricky-jocular-manner-of-john-ashbery-or-paul-mu.html

[38] The Air: http://poetry-i-like.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/air-don-paterson.html

[39] http://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/your-attention-please/

[40] An Alchemical Journal: http://www.crescentmoon.org.uk/cresmoconpoetry.html#The%20Best%20of%20Peter%20Redgrove%EDs%20Poetry

[41] https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/diving-wreck ‘Diving into the Wreck’

[42] http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/berlin-december/ Berlin December

[43] Things you cant post: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/dec/28/unsent-penelope-shuttle-review

[44] A space in the air: http://teacherpoetmusicianglenbrown.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/two-poems-by-jon-silkin.html

[45] The Galloping Cat: http://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/the-galloping-cat/

[46] Midsummer: http://www.rattle.com/tag/charles-simic/

[47] https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/54715 The Truly Great:

[48] Making Poetry: http://www.anne-stevenson.co.uk/poems1955-2005.html

[49] Leading A Charred Life: Seven Short Songs: http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/blogs/poem-month-charred-life-george-szirtes-on-john-lathams-observer-iv

[50] Penumbrae: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/43493

[51] https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/57189.Dylan_Thomas

[52] Kneeling: https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/english-association/publications/bookmarks/56.pdf

[53] The Ideology: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=XrdrhbGteIEC&pg=PT191&lpg=PT191&dq=sean+o’brien+poet+sound+that+hangs+behind+the+air&source=bl&ots=mqt3zQ5YLe&sig=mbkZLNOs8NH4kI6wOeC9VSNToBk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiuy_7EpLTPAhXLLMAKHdzNCYYQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=sean%20o’brien%20poet%20sound%20that%20hangs%20behind%20the%20air&f=false

[54] The Bird Path: (poem from collection) : https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/25576970.pdf

[55] The Boat Made of Poems: http://www.philipgross.co.uk/poems.htm

[56] Sounds of The Day: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poems/sounds-day

[57] Scotland: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poems/scotland-0

[58] Illusion: https://www.serenbooks.com/productdisplay/time-being

[59] Kneeling: https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/english-association/publications/bookmarks/56.pdf

[60] For the last time, we met: http://poetsofmodernity.xyz/POMBR/Russian/Akhmatova.htm

[61] In Praise of Air: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/worlds-first-air-cleansing-poem-1.373843

[62] Spring Day: http://www.theparisreview.org/poetry/4314/two-poems-john-ashbery

[63] Variation on the Word Sleep: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/variation-word-sleep

[64] September 1, 1939: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/september-1-1939

[65] January Jumps About: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/january-jumps-about/

[66] Waiting for Godot: http://www.cerisepress.com/04/12/the-air-is-full-of-our-cries-samuel-becketts-voices/view-all

[67] Seaside Golf: http://www.st-enodoc.co.uk/the-club/john-betjeman.html

[68] Illusion: https://www.serenbooks.com/productdisplay/time-being

[69] Intimate, Low-Voiced, Delicate Things: http://lavenderpoems.com/elizabeth-bishops-love-poems/

[70] A Woman Without A Country: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/detail/56177

[71] Dutch Mistress: http://www.shigeku.org/xlib/lingshidao/waiwen/brodsky.htm

[72] V. The Soldier: http://www.rupertbrooke.com/poems/1914/v_the_soldier/

[73] Hamnavoe Market: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poems/hamnavoe-market

[74] Are Etceteras No Things? http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/text-january-february-12-new-poetry-alan-brownjohn-four-new-poems

[75] A Close Call while Shopping: http://bukowski.net/poems/A_Close_Call_While_Shopping.php

[76] The Field Mouse: http://www.englishbiz.co.uk/mainguides/poetsclarke.html

[77] The Moment: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=12576

[78] Old Susan: http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/delamar1.html

[79] Pentecost: http://www.thedarkhorsemagazine.com/Resources/Mason%20on%20Donaghy.pdf

[80] Death of a Teacher: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jan/31/carol-ann-duffy-oxford-professory-poetry

[81] The Waste Land (II. A Game of Chess): https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47311

[82] Book Ends: http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/tony_harrison/poems/12690

[83] Home Burial: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/53086

[84] Soliloquy in an Air-Raid: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=22829

[85] Sunflower Sutra http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/g_l/ginsberg/onlinepoems.htm

[86] Cottonmouth Country: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/g_l/gluck/online.htm

[87] The White Threshold http://jacketmagazine.com/26/rile-grah.html

[88] The Kiss: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/54011

[89] Empty Metaphor https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/oct/14/casual-perfect-lavinia-greenlaw-poetry-review

[90] The Boat Made of Poems: http://www.philipgross.co.uk/poems.htm

[91] Autumn Chapter In a Novel: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=26693

[92] On Somme: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/nov/09/ivor-gurney-on-somme

[93] Last Respects: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hamilton-Collected-Poems-Alan-Jenkins/dp/0571295347

[94] The Darkling Thrush: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44325

[95] Fire: a party at the world’s end: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/11340858/David-Harsent-a-writer-we-should-treasure.html

[96] Air Clamps: http://www.argotistonline.co.uk/Harwood%20interview.htm

[97] The Gravel Walks: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-33931232

[98] “More Light! More Light!”: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/49086

[99] Genesis: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/geoffrey-hill-poetry-should-be-shocking-and-surprising/

[100] Basil: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/basil-2/

[101] The Windhover: http://www.bbc.co.uk/poetryseason/poems/the_windhover.shtml

[102] Thought Fox: https://neoenglish.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/‘thought-fox’-is-a-completely-realized-and-artistically-satisfying-poem-discuss/

[103] Thistles: https://micheleduclos.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/shamanic-traces-in-20th-century-poetry-ted-hughes-and-kenneth-white/

[104] The Hinds: https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2015/oct/05/poem-of-the-week-the-hinds-by-kathleen-jamie

[105] Extinction: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/15/a-climate-change-poem-for-today-extinction-by-jackie-kay

[106] Gusto: http://poieinkaiprattein.org/poetry/brendan-kennelly/the-cromwell-poems-by-brendan-kennelly/

[107] High Windows: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48417

[108] Man and Wife: http://www.shigeku.org/xlib/lingshidao/waiwen/lowell.htm

[109] Sounds of The Day: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poems/sounds-day

[110] Scotland: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poems/scotland-0

[111] https://apoemforeveryday.com/2015/07/31/meeting-point-by-louis-macneice/ Meeting Point

[112] Give and Take: https://performapoem.lgfl.org.uk/public/poems/mcgough_poem.pdf

[113] A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford: http://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/a-disused-shed-in-county-wexford/

[114] The Old Lad: https://literature.britishcouncil.org/writer/glyn-maxwell

[115] This Whiteness: http://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the_best_american_poetry/2014/05/glyn-maxwell-is-sometimes-considered-a-difficult-poet-but-not-in-the-tricky-jocular-manner-of-john-ashbery-or-paul-mu.html

[116] A Downward Look: https://www.nytimes.com/books/01/03/04/reviews/010304.04mendelt.html

[117] A song on the end of the world: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/49451

[118] Goodbye: https://anthonywilsonpoetry.com/2013/09/08/lifesaving-poems-adrian-mitchells-goodbye/

[119] Lost Worlds: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=39419

[120] The Frigate Pelican: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ma05/dulis/poetry/Moore/moore2.html

[121] Canedolia [i.e.Caledonia]: an Off-concrete Scotch Fantasia: http://www.writewords.org.uk/articles/edwin_morgan.asp

[122] Better Life: http://betterlife.jrf.org.uk/poem.html

[123] The Mud Room: https://bostonreview.net/poetry/stephen-burt-review-hay

[124] Prehistory of Air: http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/murray-les/prehistory-of-air-0576013

[125] ‘Your Laughter http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/poem-laughter-pablo-neruda/

[126] Cousin Coat: http://www.jeanettewinterson.com/poem/two-poems-by-sean-o-brien/

[127] A step away from them http://www.frankohara.org/writing.html

[128] High School Senior: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/olds/poems.htm

[129] https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/57370 Spring Offensive

[130] air for our children

[131] The Air: http://poetry-i-like.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/air-don-paterson.html

[132] Air Plane: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=j0ReAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT122&lpg=PT122&dq=TOM+PAULIN+poet+the+air&source=bl&ots=LLWuzc2cAK&sig=Ag5ty-GXrd-R66__1JLomqeGasQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj-2f68w7fPAhVeOMAKHef0CugQ6AEINjAE#v=onepage&q=air&f=false

[133] let us http://www.mariopetrucci.com/poems.htm

[134] Lady Lazarus: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/49000

[135] http://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/your-attention-please/

[136] https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/poetry-review-how-snow-falls-by-craig-raine/

[137] http://www.poemhunter.com/i/ebooks/pdf/kathleen_raine_2004_9.pdf Far Darting Apollo

[138] An Alchemical Journal: http://www.crescentmoon.org.uk/cresmoconpoetry.html#The%20Best%20of%20Peter%20Redgrove%EDs%20Poetry

[139] https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/diving-wreck ‘Diving into the Wreck’

[140] A Virginal: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/pound/additional.htm

[141] Dead Man’s Dump

[142] Questions for Advent http://search.proquest.com/openview/54dd0a5071fba20a4026ce1322566b05/1?pq-origsite=gscholar

[143] http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/berlin-december/ Berlin December

[144] The Rear-Guard: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/57268

[145] Things you cant post: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/dec/28/unsent-penelope-shuttle-review

[146] A space in the air: http://teacherpoetmusicianglenbrown.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/two-poems-by-jon-silkin.html

[147] Midsummer: http://www.rattle.com/tag/charles-simic/

[148] The Galloping Cat: http://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/the-galloping-cat/

[149] https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/54715 The Truly Great:

[150] After the Ark: http://www.poetryarchive.org/poet/pauline-stainer

[151] Anecdote of the jar https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/detail/14575

[152] Making Poetry: http://www.anne-stevenson.co.uk/poems1955-2005.html

[153] Doodledo: http://www.manifold.group.shef.ac.uk/issue6/MatthewSweeney6.html

[154] Leading A Charred Life: Seven Short Songs: http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/blogs/poem-month-charred-life-george-szirtes-on-john-lathams-observer-iv

[155] Poem in October: http://www.bigeye.com/october.htm

[156] https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/57189.Dylan_Thomas

[157] http://www.edward-thomas-fellowship.org.uk/poems.html The Manor Farm

[158] A day in Autumn : http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-day-in-autumn/

[159] Kneeling: https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/english-association/publications/bookmarks/56.pdf

[160] ‘Then’: https://literature.britishcouncil.org/writer/charles-tomlinson

[161] Penumbrae: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/43493

[162] The Bounty: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48318

[163] The Heron: http://poetrynook.com/poem/heron

[164] The Bird Path: (poem from collection): https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/25576970.pdf

[165] Love Calls Us to the Things of This World: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/43048

[166] I Was Like: http://baroqueinhackney.com/2014/03/20/oh-hugo-williams-we-love-you-get-up/

[167] Those who Cross: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=QVXvZgXRW3YC&pg=PT22&lpg=PT22&dq=poet+JOHN+HARTLEY+WILLIAMS+the+air&source=bl&ots=gNB_w_p2bp&sig=wT32_EqAgchLtPk7HTzg0Sq5YIc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi69uOayLLPAhWLCMAKHSHwDkg4FBDoAQgzMAQ#v=onepage&q=dead%20air&f=false

[168] The Ideology: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=XrdrhbGteIEC&pg=PT191&lpg=PT191&dq=sean+o’brien+poet+sound+that+hangs+behind+the+air&source=bl&ots=mqt3zQ5YLe&sig=mbkZLNOs8NH4kI6wOeC9VSNToBk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiuy_7EpLTPAhXLLMAKHdzNCYYQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=sean%20o’brien%20poet%20sound%20that%20hangs%20behind%20the%20air&f=false

[169] The Wedding Dance in the Open Air: http://english.emory.edu/classes/paintings&poems/openair.html

[170] The Cap and Bells: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/43284

[171] The London Breed: https://mymetropole.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/the-london-breed/