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Lee Harwood is one of Britain’s most distinguished poets. He has published many collections of poetry, including a large ‘Collected Poems’ from Shearsman Books. He has also translated the Selected Poems of Tristan Tzara. He was born in 1939, and lives in Brighton, England.

Lee Harwood is one of the few poets who has negotiated the tension between direct, honest, personal expression and the techniques of Modernist and Postmodernist literature ... Like John Ashbery, he utilises the dream and surrealism in elaborate, even baroque fictions that engage the reader in participatory reading, rather than passive consumption ... he coaxes a reader's response and negotiation with the fiction, rather than writing a hidden poetic meaning into his poems. (Andy Brown, Stride Magazine, reviewing Harwood's 'Collected Poems').

Read the extract below:

Evening Star
Lee Harwood
ISBN: 0-9535401-0-3
£3.50/$8.00  Out of print


The complexity of a coral reef
the creatures sunlight
shafting down through crystal sea
water the flicker of shadows
light wavering and fading
into the depths

Near the silver mirrored surface
bright yellow fish
flutter through the reef
crowded with the swaying tendrils
of coral and anemones,
smudges of algae, drifts of seaweed,
starfish and shellfish flowing
through the canyons

The sun rises three times
The sun sets three times

over sea over land

on land
her blue grey eyes gaze at the world
in silence blink at the world
the world goes about
its usual business

"A fine view along the coast"
to be seen from a high building’s
window one of many windows

"Polyps" the books say coral
a tube with a mouth at the end
surrounded by tendrils to catch
small creatures
A world of soft tissue
And the colours

white red orange
yellow green blue
purple "natural pigments"
and those too changeable
when algae "lives within the tissue"

Many species Many depths
and the light filtered down
reducing reducing

And bright yellow fish
banded with peacock blue
flutter through the reef
Red fish Black fish
with lemon ringed eyes
flutter through the reef

How delighted she’d be
Her blue grey eyes gazing at this world
while cradled in her mother’s
her father’s arms
the world going about its usual business

A ship’s bows cut the salt water
a phosphorescent trail in the tropic night

The phosphorus glitter of the sea
From the Greek
phos (light) -phoros (bringing)

Like her
as she came and went

Morning star

(in memory of Joey Peirce/Harwood,
who lived 11-14 March 1997)