Pillow Talk

By John Fuller b. 1937 John Fuller
Wondered Knob-Cracker at Stout-Heart:   
‘Are you timed by your will, does your pulse   
List credit, ready to slam like a till?
Can you keep it up?’

Growled Beard Splitter to Smug:
‘Your forces delay, bibbing at Northern walls   
While snow drives rifts between, barring the way.   
I am sufficient.’

Pleaded Knob-Cracker with Fail-Safe:
‘You’ve boarded at last, your hands in your pockets,   
Hat on the back of your head and flags up the mast.   
Can’t I come with you?’

Nodded Beard-Splitter to Sorrowful:
‘The islands are prisons and no one returns,   
No power or possessions where my rule is.   
I will make you mine.’

John Fuller, “Pillow Talk” from Collected Poems, published by Chatto & Windus. Used by permission of The Random House Group Limited, http://www.randomhouse.co.uk.

Source: Collected Poems (1996)

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Poet John Fuller b. 1937


 John  Fuller


A prolific poet, novelist, children’s writer, critic, and editor, John Fuller has written or edited nearly 50 books, including more than a dozen collections of poetry. Fuller was born in Kent, England, and his father was the poet Roy Fuller. John Fuller was mentored by W.H. Auden and also influenced by Eliot, Graves, and Stevens. His poetry displays a virtuosic ease within the constraints of formal, metered verse; it is a poetry . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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