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A Lament for England

Authors: Roland John

Published by Bluechrome Publishing

ISBN: 9781904781769

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And with their passing,
another stage complete,
make ready for departing

well satisfied, replete;
unhappy with our share,
but accepting defeat.

We knew it was not fair,
life moves on the same,
we tremble in despair

forgetting it's all a game,
so arbitrary and rare —
the platitudes of fame.

Roland John was born in South London and after travelling widely in Europe and the Middle East; he returned to the UK and founded the Hippopotamus Press, a small specialist poetry imprint. His poetry, translations, book reviews and criticism have appeared in a wide range of periodicals both here and abroad. He has been involved with poetry for most of his life, publishing it, promoting it, teaching it and writing it. He is especially interested in the work of Ezra Pound and has written many articles on Pound, particularly for magazines like Agenda. His own detailed analysis of Pound’s epic, A Beginner’s Guide to The Cantos of Ezra Pound was published by the University of Salzburg Press. His verse books include Boundaries, Believing Words are Real, To Weigh Alternatives. In 1989 he gave up city living to move to Somerset.

"Roland John’s Report from the Desert is characterised by toughness and intelligence."
Christopher Hale, Agenda

"Roland John’s approach to his job as a poet is serious…"
Philip Gross, Outposts

"Believing Words are Real is urbane, Horatian, Buntinesqe, genuine… All this is very skilled work…"
Brian Merrikin Hill, Acumen

"The mass of concrete detail is often telling and almost at times overpowering; …Previous books of poetry by Roland John have been variously characterised as tough, skilled, and serious. I can go along with those."
Eddie Wainwright, Envoi

"There is a great deal of content, as well as intellectual passion and lyricism in Roland John’s poetry;……(he) is a poet capable of weighing the alternatives, and adjudging correctly between them. I can have no hesitation in recommending this book to Agenda readers."
W. S. Milne, Agenda
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