Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

Concordance

This concordance provides an index to every word in the poems, excluding a list of common "stopwords".  It may be useful in finding a half-remembered poem, and perhaps in looking at the usage of words in the poems as a whole.  It will be readable only on a large screen.

Y

in Leningrad in Soviet days.  Kettle’s
Yard in Cambridge when it was still managed by Jim Ede (he would pick
t of the first world war).  // // Fifty
yards across the park at the back // // a low embankment carries the
ck Court; Sherlock Close // // houses;
yards ; curbs // // One to fifty:  Ground floor // // Bedroom 2; Bathr
// it pulls the final prop.  A hundred
yards // // of man’s best effort at defence // // drops thirty feet
I will go the whole hog, the full nine
yards : turn the paper onto its side and write each line // // in some
// feeling slow // // rub eyes // //
yawn and stretch // // blue skies // // legs itch // // must get on
for a day— // // even more maybe—for a
year and a day // // in Norfolk where the sign reads slow you down.  /
// // no matter what the season of the
year .  // // At any time or season of the year // // we listen to Sch
en-million-year mountain // // hundred-
year forest // // hundred-million-year sea // // ten-thousand-year l
newspaper // // dated 1933 // // the
year Hitler came to power).  // // Then we get on with our lives:  //
/ // // Berkshire, 1962-3 // // This
year it snows on Boxing Day.  // // The country road not cleared for d
ed-million-year sea // // ten-thousand-
year lake // // thousand-year stream // // narrow stream // // open
forest // // rough moor // // million-
year moor // // ten-million-year mountain // // hundred-year forest
// million-year moor // // ten-million-
year mountain // // hundred-year forest // // hundred-million-year s
s here // // a new production for this
year // // of celebration—every line // // the Bard created for the
he flickering light.  // // Nearly-five-
year -old Colin // // needed a lavatory, and I had to leave the fire f
n hardboard.  // // — // // 1973.  Six-
year -old Emily visits.  // // At home, two days later, // // she says
cross my five- // // or eight- or ten-
year -old imagination.  // // It stands within a grove of trees, a very
dred-year forest // // hundred-million-
year sea // // ten-thousand-year lake // // thousand-year stream //
ten-thousand-year lake // // thousand-
year stream // // narrow stream // // open moor // // deep lake //
Interval // // There is a forty-one
year tale to tell // // —could I but find the words to make it plain.
// // not until seven years later, the
year that her first // // grandchild arrived?  I can’t quite recall. 
ar.  // // At any time or season of the
year // // we listen to Schubert’s Trout Quintet.  // // Listening to
wait // // another thirteen and a half
years .  // //
even perhaps // // identify across the
years .  A copper beech // // stands out, a clump of pears whose fruit
, left untended // // for maybe thirty
years .  A winding path // // leads from the glazed back door // // t
l // // simply erase them.  // // Four
years ago a storm demolished // // the dunes on the beach across the
y.  // // —A fragment, formulated forty
years ago // // and filed in the middens of my mind.  // // And in my
house // // that we bought some forty
years ago.  // // One of the legs had rotted half away.  // // But a n
old outside.  // // (But that was forty
years ago // // —these days his hair is white all through.) // // ‘E
nto its glow.  // // Another twenty one
years , // // another crematorium.  // // This time Judith has chosen
/ crops are watered.  // // Seasons and
years are counted and timed.  // // Philosophies are aired, // // tem
t) // // had come as a child sixty-odd
years before // // (well before the start of the first world war).  //
rld to explore.  // // But within a few
years , both son and daughter // // are dead too.  Back to Sheffield a
erranean waves roll on.  // // How many
years , decades, centuries // // have I lain upon this sandy seafloor?
y // // Rode bold Sir Lancelot.  // //
Years have passed.  The winter’s chill // // Lies fast upon the land
// and talked to relatives not seen for
years .  // // It had to be, but it was not the memory we needed.  // /
// ten or a thousand or maybe a million
years , // // it seems to be acting // // not in its own best interes
home.  Or was it // // not until seven
years later, the year that her first // // grandchild arrived?  I can
heat upon my face.  // // Twenty three
years later, when my mother died // // we had the proper formal funer
entieth century only // // ninety-nine
years long.) // // Béla Bartók and Frank Bridge // // are still at c
// // On the cornices // // a hundred
years of whitewash.  // // We wire from scratch, // // plumb, strip e
m unpainted for the best part of the 22
years we lived there, and it wasn’t just because we never got around t
ces, // // crested by the fuzz of last
year’s growth, // // looks like a great sea-crag in miniature, // //
Ode to the
yeast wind // // flour, water, mix well // // mollycoddle for one da
// // —spinning around one of the hot
yellow bits // // way out here in the remoter backwaters // // of th
ing seaward, sun behind us, low, // //
yellow light-beams almost horizontal; // // East Hills aglow.  // //
no, not really.  // // Objective // //
Yellow liquid flows.  // // Subjective/objective // // Tap left open.
Hopper Chōka // //
Yellow neon light // // spilling through plate-glass windows // // a
turn, a period of change?  // // Well,
yes .  In all the arts // // currents criss-cross, revolutions // //
Judith is a painter, isn’t she?”  // //
Yes .  // // “Then why hasn’t she painted // // the walls?”  // // Fai
Anticipation // //
Yes , there will be more.  // // More hills, dales, crags, beaches //
an I go there, with my eyesight?  // //
Yes , with fuel to burn.  // // If the lines be blurred just right, //
tomorrow // // tomorrow // // will be
yesterday .  // //
ybe?  // // No.  // // But which jacket
yesterday ?  Ah, that one.  // // But no.  // // Table by door?  // // N
was it just a hedge, backwards?  // //
Yesterday I was told: it looks clear.  // // So life should now appea
No.  No.  No.  // // Dammit, used them
yesterday .  Must be somewhere.  // // Start again, from the beginning,
n the time comes, I might add, not just
yet .  // //
s from the // // edge of the path, not
yet blunted or bowdlerized.  // // Broken?  It must be, if agony’s evi
in their cots // // William Walton not
yet born.  // // But Maurice Ravel has just joined // // the Société
ee.  // // Below the bulges, // // not
yet decipherable, // // orange and penny.  // // Brandy, a candle:  //
// // 3 sideways: perspiration // //
Yet here’s a thought.  Just maybe I can // // circle round the tentac
/ // the world with dittoed offspring. 
Yet it will // // occasionally not breed true.  Now strife: // // the
/ The eighth layer has not been started
yet , so the only thing to do about // // it is to turn back and trave
p the carriers of plague at bay.  // //
Yet someone here is staggering and stumbling— // // how in hell did h
// // An uncompleted day // // is not
yet to be fixed— // // but each interval passing by // // may be not
/ may be notched on a stick.  // // Not
yet to be fixed // // while the long night’s images last, // // but
ot kill // // another day.”  // // And
yet you stay // // inside my head, and take away my will // // to fi
round to it. // // On a New
York subway:  Judith and me standing as there are no seats; she is 4 o
nt at the time.  A tiny middle-aged New
York woman, sitting on a bench seat, observes the situation, and promp
y obey her, all shapes and sizes of New
Yorkers , like lambs.  It is a memory that Judith treasures for the res
// First to Hunmanby on the north-east
Yorkshire coast // // for the requisite square-bashing.  And then whe
/ Polish husband transforms into // //
Yorkshire male, expecting // // tea on the table when he returns from
s, my best-beloved, // // when we were
young and all, // // the woven patterns traced and covered // // the
ass // // As comely or as kindly or as
young as what she was!) // // I am not cruel, only truthful— // // T
s on Kinderscout.  // // Meet a dashing
young fellow rambler.  // // Marry, find a home // // on the very edg
/ Butterfish cooked to no sauce.  // //
Young flourishing bowl bowl shrimp // // Do a boiler burn the duck he
gazing into // // one window; but one
young man half-turned // // across the rest, looking with unfocussed
owards the setting sun.  // // Go west,
young man?  No, this is about // // a century and a half before Colum
dera rondeau // // In any season, some
young man will wander // // along the byways, thoughts tragic or tend
was a bullet, stray.  // // There was a
young man writhing in the splinters of the shattered window pane.  //
once ran a fish-and-chip shop.  // // A
young rambler, you take part // // in the mass trespass on Kinderscou