The Poetry Library

Hotfoot from visiting David Bowie Is at the V & A (see previous blog post) and duly restored by a lunch of rainbow trout, buttered baby new potatoes and seasonal veg, washed down with more Earl Grey tea, I took to the tube for my first visit to The Saison Poetry Library in the Southbank Centre.

Anyway, after a morning of queuing, standing and walking, it was a short hop from Embankment tube station across Hungerford Bridge (cold and blowy, grey view):


for nigh on three blissful hours of (seated) browsing through mostly current issues of the many poetry magazines I can’t afford to subscribe to.  In the final print issue of Sphinx (a few years ago), an interview with Chris Emery made interesting reading in light of Salt’s very recent decision to cease publication of single-author poetry collections.

After that, I had time for no more than a cursory look at the shelves (contemporary poetry collections and pamphlets from 1912 onwards, plus a few earlier poets deemed to have influenced contemporary poetry).

Tucked away in the back corner (hardly occupying pride of place in a library that has neither sufficient space or pride of place itself, being tucked away in a corner on the fifth level of the Southbank Centre…) was a desk signed by all the participants in London’s Poetry Parnassus, 2012:

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I was tempted to take out (free) membership, but I know that my visits will be so infrequent that returning books on loan is impracticable.  But I do hope for a return visit to explore more of the poetry on those shelves in the not-too-distant future.

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