John Fairfax


There's an analyst chuckling in my brain
forking over image-compost collected over years
and rotting into fine forgetfulness.

Now and again a stubborn clod of memory
refuses to reduce into useful anecdote
or talkatively cover a weedy discomfort.

If there were a garden where I could dump
barrow loads of thorn verb and sinewed noun
the analyst could rake lumps from inside out.

Then roses would growl and wallflowers whisper,
a symbol would flower in stanzaed frame
and worms aerate my stifling tongue.

John Fairfax created the Arvon Foundation with John Moat in 1969, to give writers the opportunity to teach their trade to aspirants of all backgrounds and interests in secluded rural settings (farmhouses in Totleigh Barton in Devon and Lumb Bank in Yorkshire). Many well-known poets began their writing on an Arvon course, and the scheme has attracted universal support and approbation. Ted Hughes, who has been very active on Arvon's behalf, introduces Fairfax and Moat's essential "The Way To Write" (Elm Tree, 1981). Fairfax' books of poetry include "This I Say", "The 5th Horseman of the Apocalypse", "Adrift on the Star Brow of Taliesin", "The Wild Children", "Space Poems", "Bone Harvest Done" and "100 Poems".

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