By Roy Fisher b. 1930 Roy Fisher
The irritations of comfort—
I visit as they rebuild the house
from within: whitening, straightening,
bracing the chimney-breast edges
and forcing warmth, dryness
and windows with views into
the cottage below canal-level.
For yes, there’s a canal, bringing
cold reflections almost to the door,
and beyond it the main line to Manchester,
its grid of gantries pale
against the upland and the sky;
there’s a towpath pub, where the red-
haired old landlady
brings up the beer from the cellar slowly
in a jug: there’s a chapel
next door to the cottage, set up
with a false front and a real
boiler-house, and—
rest, my mind—nearby there’s
a small haulage contractor’s yard.
Everything’s turned up here, except
a certain complete cast-iron
housefront, preserved and pinned
to a blank wall in Ottawa.
This comfort
beckons. It won’t do. It beckons.
Driving steadily through rain in
a watertight car with the wipers going.
It won’t do. It beckons.

Roy Fisher, “Provision” from Selected Poems, published by Flood Editions. Copyright © 2010 by Roy Fisher. Reprinted by permission of Bloodaxe Books Ltd. (Great Britain).

Source: Selected Poems (Flood Editions, 2010)

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Poet Roy Fisher b. 1930


Subjects Arts & Sciences, Architecture & Design, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life

Poetic Terms Free Verse


British poet and jazz musician Roy Fisher was raised in Birmingham, England, and educated at Birmingham University. Describing Fisher’s exploratory, Modernist-influenced poetic style in a review of his Selected Poems for Poetry, poet Daisy Fried noted: “Sometimes prose, sometimes lineated, they are dense except when they aren’t, restless except when still, improvisational in feel inside a kind of nonce formal rigor.” Fisher . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Architecture & Design, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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