Biography of David Harsent
David Harsent has published nine collections of poetry. The most recent, Legion, won the Forward Prize for best collection 2005 and was shortlisted for both the Whitbread Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His Selected Poems appeared from Faber in June 2007, and were shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and is a Visiting Professor at Sheffield Hallam University.
David Harsent's Works:
* A Violent Country (1969)
* After Dark (1973)
* Truce (1973)
* Dreams of the Dead (1977)
* Mister Punch (1984)
* From an Inland Sea (1985)
* Savramena Britanska Poezija, editor with Mario Suško, (1988)
* Gawain: a libretto (1991)
* Storybook Hero (1992)
* News from the Front (1993)
* The Sorrow of Sarajevo, translations of poems by Goran Simic, illustrated by Robert McNab, (1996)
* Sprinting from the Graveyard, translations of poems by Goran Simic, (1997)
* A Bird’s Idea of Flight (1998)
* Another Round at the Pillars: A Festschrift for Ian Hamilton, editor, (1999)
* Marriage (2002)
* Raising the Iron, editor, (2004)
* Legion (2005)
* Selected Poems,1969–2005 (2007)
* The Minotaur: a libretto (2008)
David Harsent Poems
From &Quot;A Dream Book&Quot;
Deep reaches of sleep until the unforeseen moment, like fugue, like petit mal, some kind of sign,
Our first snow of the winter came last night, which is how we knew they’d gone through: cross-thread tyre tracks, the Greek key-pattern of a caterpillar tread.
They told us about a boy who disappeared when the convoy went through. Search as they might there was no sign until word was sent of ‘residue’ between the wheel and the wheel-arch.
There was a man who made toffee; he would leave it to cool on a blue-veined marble slab by the open window of his shop, which was little more than a tin-and-timber lean-to in the Street of Songs. There was a man who made small
'Full-Length In The Bath, You Are Wasp'
Full-length in the bath, you are wasp- waisted, long-legged, high-breasted: you are just as you were. The water is skimmed with sunlight from the cusp of your feet to the wide weed of your hair.
'Now Rise From The Bath, Your Hair Caugh...
Now rise from the bath, your hair caught up with a peg. The water peels back from your breasts like the film from a cooking egg. You cleanly cleave your arse as you lift one leg
There was a man who made toffee; he would leave it to cool
on a blue-veined marble slab by the open window
of his shop, which was little more than a tin-and-timber lean-to
in the Street of Songs. There was a man who made small
animals and the like – horses, mostly – from scraps of steel
the plough turned up: high-grade stuff he could fine-tool;
while he worked he would sing, as if he had someone to sing to.
There was a man who made paintings: portraits, as a rule,
of businessmen in the