Henry Reed

I don’t know why I have The Collected Poems of Henry Reed on my shelves. It’s inscribed with “much love” from my brother (the littler one) in 1994.

Possibly because of its five Lessons of War, of which you are certainly familiar with Naming of Parts and possibly also with Judging of Distances and Movement of Bodies and Unarmed Combat and Returning of Issue.

Not completely sure why Naming of Parts is so much more famous than the other four parts, but for my part, I blame the japonica. Look at it. How could one not.

Apart from a fascination with Verona, a great deal about houses and fields, woods, gardens and walls and encounters with overwrought exhausting literary figures such as Tristan & Iseult, Antigone and Philoctetes, we have The Auction Sale from Henry Reed. His reviewer for this collection calls it his “most ambitious exploration of the landscape of desire.”  For my part, I call it one of those things that stick to your heart.

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Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

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