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Dragon Talk

Dragon Talk

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Dragon Talk

4/5 (1 clasificación)
71 página
23 minutos
Mar 27, 2014


After the appearance of Fleur Adcock's Poems 1960-2000 she wrote no more poems for several years. This cessation coincided with -but was not entirely caused by -her giving up smoking. When poetry returned to her in 2003 it tended towards a sparer, more concentrated style. This new collection continues to reflect her preoccupations with family matters and with her ambivalent feelings about her native New Zealand. Her initial inspiration was the letters her father wrote home from England to his parents during World War II, which evoked her own memories of that era. The central sequence moves from her first coming to consciousness in New Zealand up to and through the war years in Britain and on to sketches from her teens in puritanical postwar Wellington after her reluctant return -not without her usual sardonic eye for incongruities and absurdities. There are also affectionate poems for her grandchildren and her late mother.
Mar 27, 2014

Sobre el autor

Fleur Adcock was born in New Zealand in 1934, and spent the war years in England, returning with her family to New Zealand in 1947. She emigrated to Britain in 1963, working as a librarian in London until 1979. In 1977-78 she was writer-in-residence at Charlotte Mason College of Education, Ambleside. She was Northern Arts Literary Fellow in 1979-81, living in Newcastle, becoming a freelance writer after her return to London. She received an OBE in 1996, and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2006 for Poems 1960-2000 (Bloodaxe Books, 2000), which was followed ten years later by Dragon Talk (2010); then by Glass Wings (2013), The Land Ballot (2015) and Hoard (2017). She has lived in East Finchley, north London, since 1963.

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Dragon Talk - Fleur Adcock


Dragon Talk

How many years ago now

did we first walk hand in hand –

or hand in claw –

through Alice’s Wonderland,

your favourite training ground,

peopled with a crew

of phantasms – Mock Turtle, Gryphon –

as verbal as you?

Your microphone, kissing my lips,

inhaled my words; the machine

displayed them, printed out

in sentences on a screen.


My codependant,

my precious parasite,

my echo, my parrot,

my tolerant slave:

I do the talking;

you do the typing.

Just try a bit harder

to hear what I say!

I wait for you to lash your tail

each time I swear at you.

But no: you listen meekly,

and print ‘fucking moron’.


All the come-ons

you transcribed as commas –

how can we conduct a flirtation

in punctuation? –

Particularly when,

money-mad creature,

you spell doom to romance

by writing ‘flotation’.


I can’t blame you for homonyms,

but surely after a decade

you could manage the last word

of Cherry Tree ‘Would’?

Context, after all,

is supposed to be your engine.

Or are you being driven

by Humpty Dumpty?


I take it amiss

when you mis-hear the names

of my nearest and dearest;

in particular, Beth.

Safer, perhaps, if I say Bethany.

Keep your scary talons

off my great-granddaughter:

don’t call her ‘death’.


You know all the diseases

and the pharmaceuticals:


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  • (4/5)
    A new collection from New Zealand poet Fleur Adcock. The poems are about her family's move to England during WWII. The poems start with the family packing to leave New Zealand, their arrival in England and subsequent multiple moves to other towns and homes, their return to New Zealand after the war and poems of more recent events that evoke those times for Adcock. The poems are straightforward and some are humorous.The Mill Streamby Fleur AdcockAnd what was the happiest day I remember?It was when we went to the Mill Stream -my sister and I and the Morris kids.We wore our bathing-suits under our dresses(subterfuge), crossed the live railway lines(forbidden), and tramped through bluebell woods.There was a bridge with green and brown shadowsto lurk among in the long afternoon.Chest high in the stream, with pointy water-snailsas escorts, I could hardly believe my luck.Happiness is chemical. Sunshine and watertrigger it. (And I couldn't even swim.)