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The Dog Who Thinks He's A Fish

The Dog Who Thinks He's A Fish

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Chris Beckett grew up in Ethiopia in the sixties before being packed off to school in Yorkshire and Surrey. He worked in a trucking company in Australia, then moved to Japan where he worked five years in shipping. Now he sits behind a desk in Victoria and trades sugar on the international markets, but still gets to travel.

His early poetry was heavily influenced by DH Lawrence and the fascination with the close but alien world of animals and fish has stayed with him. In rhythm and language, he is still enthralled by Lawrence and by African praise poetry, that contrast of simple everyday words and phrases with a courteous sometimes ecstatic formality.

These are poems of lived experience, focusing on particularities – startling, moving, beautiful.

'These exuberant poems move from the commonplace to the revelatory by sleight of hand. There's a rightness of tone, a deftness and true authority. Reading The Dog Who Thinks He's A Fish is like learning to fly – it's as easy as laughing. Chris Beckett is a natural.' – Pascale Petit


His belly has the roundness of cooking pots.
His smile is always generous to boys.
His teeth are yellow like home-made beer.
His fingers are chunks of stew.
He lives in the steam from kettles.
His breath is a lemon tree.
His hair is a thorn-bush.
He can use it to scour the frying pans.