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To Fold the Evening Star: New and Selected Poems

To Fold the Evening Star: New and Selected Poems

by Ian McMillan


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Lauded as a 'national treasure' and 'world class' by his contemporaries, 'Bard of Barnsley' Ian McMillan is one of Britain's well-loved poets, performers, broadcasters and entertainers. The host of The Verb, BBC Radio 3's Cabaret of The Word, McMillan has been injecting soul and vibrancy into the UK literary scene for over two decades. His humorous and witty observations of everyday life, fused with his northern, working-class voice has made him a household name. This long-awaited collection brings together poems from his previous publications plus new and unseen ones.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781784101886
Publisher: Carcanet Press, Limited
Publication date: 05/01/2016
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ian McMillan was born in Barnsley in 1957. He published his first Carcanet book of poems, The Changing Problem, in 1980. Now It Can Be Told appeared in 1983, Dad, the Donkey’s On Fire in 1994. Selected Poems (Poetry Book Society Recommendation) has gone through several printings. He first made his name through his work with the Poetry Circus in the early 1980s. Since then he has become famous for his work in schools, radio and television (the Mark Radcliffe Show, The Verb, Poetry Please and Newsnight Review), as Poet in Residence for Barnsley F.C., and in poetry venues across the nation.

Table of Contents

Dad, the Donkey's on Fire (1994)

Kake Yourself Comfortable 3

Why We Need Libraries 4

Pit Closure as Art 5

Lilian's Poem 7

Death's Feet 8

Husband and Wife 9

Tempest Avenue 9

Deaths from Ice Cream 10

Ted Hughes is Elvis Presley 11

Visit 14

Early Train, Rain, Wombwell Station 16

Poem Occasioned by the High Incidence of Suicide amongst the Unemployed 17

Song for Roof Building 18

The Force of His Storm Knocked Me from My Stool 19

Moon Rivet: Lives of the Great Comedians 20

Henry's Skeleton, George's Leg 21

Jesus Died from Eating Curtains 23

Stone, I Presume 24

Point of Transit 25

Still Life Life 26

Realism (Nothing is Ever Finished) 28

Dad, the Donkey's on Fire 29


Poetry Matters 30

The Route to Work 36

Whatever Happened to Freddie Galloway? 40

Grisp the Wheel at Ten Past Two 45

There's Always a Man in a Cardigan 51

Just Like Ours Except for the Ducks 56

On the Closure of Cadeby Colliery 59

Title (Northumberland June 11th/12th 1987) 60

Slow Thaw 62

In Fear of Absttaction 63

Brief Encounter 64

The Day after Armistice Day 65

The Mirror in the Toilet 66

Essential Engineering Works 67

The er Barnsley Seascapes

1 Goldthorpe er Seascape 68

2 Ml Seascape near Hoyland: er it's a rough day 69

3 Er Darfield Seascape 69

4 Little Houghton Seascape er like 69

5 An Old Seadog er Speaks 70

6 Er from a Learned Paper about Seascapes 70

7 Seaview Video, Barnsley: Er Latest Offers 71

8 Seascape Could er Be Anywhere around here 71

The Christmas Tree's Press Conference 72

The Grimness 73

Modernism: The Umbrella Girl Forgets What She is Talking About 76

Burst Pipe with A Level' Notes 77

Halifax! 78

Rotherham 80

Snails on the West Shore, August 1991 81

Three Boring Miles on the Exercise Bike 83

Smoke 84

Bosnia Festival: Your Full Guide by our Arts Reporter 85

The 70 86

Frog Dream 87

Dear Mr McMillan 88

A Cliché Defines the Moment in a Poem about Language and Oppression 90

Mining Town 91

A Discussion on Modern Poetry with Example: Postman Pat's Suicide Note 92

Bat Wars 93

Sonny Boy Williamson is Trying to Cook a Rabbit in a Kettle 95

The Scream on Stockpott Station 96

My Caravan's Got a Bontempi Organ in it 97

The Ice House 98

Epic, I Mean an Epic Feel to it 99

Grace 100

Top Row/Low Row, Woolley Colliery Village 101

George and Joe on a Bench: Wind-Symmetry 102

Brisk Coffee 103

Sunset Ower Barnsley 104

The Next Poem I Write 105

Postmodernist Summer Nights in the Dearne Valley 105

The Literary Life 106

The Continuity Girl has Died 108

Great Dogs of History 109

The Veins in my Neck 110

Beethoven was Deaf, You Know 111

In a West Yorkshire Bus Queue 113

November 1963 in a Scotland of the Mind 114

The Making of the English Working Class 115

From I Found This Shirt (1998)

I'd Better Not 119

My Dog 120

Self Portrait 121

Tuesdays and Wednesdays 121

Home Support 122

Poem Containing Several R.E.M. Song Titles 123

Endless Shedness 124

Poem Is a City 125

Happiness on the First Train from Barnsley to Huddersfield 126

Free Improvising Musician Drops Frying Pan 127

From Perfect Catch (2000)

Malvern Link, Early Morning 131

Branwell Brontë is Reincarnated as a Vest 131

Lumb Bank, 1978 132

A House of Bricks 132

Body and Bone: The Fat Man in the Bath 133

Slip of a Man 135

The Mexico Poems 143

This Lake Used to be Frozen: Lamps (2011)

It's Only a Novelty Coronation Street Alarm Clock 155

Tom Jones 155

A Miniature 157

It's the 4th of July! 157

Sleeper 158

Old Age 159

Norman Stopped Me on the Street 160

Not a Real Bear, But a Bear Nevertheless 160

Walk 162

The Evening of the Day Pavarotti Died 166

Drift 167

Did You Ask for a Decaff off that Other Lady? 169

Yorkshire Pudding Rules 170

A Series of Novels 171

Black Cloud Over My House Sometime in the 1960s 172

The Inevitability of Snow 172

The Idea of Loneliness in the Little Chef, Uttoxeter 174

Platform 2 175

Aubade/Nocturne 175

The Poet Speaks 176

Unrealismus/Realismus 177

Ah've Soiled Ma Breeks! (2012)

Come and Sit Over Here with Those Ideas of Yours 181

Ah've Soiled Ma Breeks! 182

Anchored 184

A Scientific Explanation of the Mystery of the Passing of Time 184

Tony Bought a Guitar and Got a Parking Fine 185

The Language of Philosophical Enquiry 186

Early Morning Stroll. Deep Woods. Just Seen My Mate Who Spent His Early Years in a Children's Home. 186

Face of Our Lord Jesus Christ Seen in Yorkshire Pudding 187

Ian McMillan's Unfishnished Poem 188

T'invisible Man O' Methley 189

Torch Passes By 189

A Black Dog in Four Legs 190

Dream of a Tree in a Spanish Graveyard from a Small House in the South Yorkshire Coalfield 193

M' Writing Table 194

Playing Chess with Uncle Charlie 194

Plain, Cheese & Onion, Salt & Vinegar 196

Fantasia on a Theme of Uncle Charlie 196

Uncle Jack's Rubber Tarts, Boxing Day 1964 197

The Sun Comes Up 198

A Mo-ment 198

My Achilles, He'll 199

Keith's Mankini: A Three-Line Work in Progress 200

Jazz Peas (2014)

Me and Dave and Thelonious Monk Waiting for the 14 Bus 203

An Archaeologist Finds an Umbrella 204

Annual Report 204

Approaching those 'Ruddy' Belisha Beacons Near the Post Office Again 205

As Thoughs 206

Elegy, Eulogy, Eelegy 209

Figs 209

Language and Politics 210

Language and Politics 2: Maps and Dog Ventriloquism Combined in the Same Tale 212

Language and Politics 3: Complexity and Simplicity, a Debate 213

My Kidnapping 215

Norman Came to My House 216

Oboe 217

Pumped; to be Accompanied by Pumping Music 218

Railway Ballad: Broken Rail 218

Rhapsody, in a Jumpy Way, on the Word 'Unravel' 220

The Indoor Glider: a Miniatute 221

The New Punctuation 222

We're Doing the Quick Crossword 222

An Old Map 223

New & Uncollected Poems

From 'Grafters'

A Group of Group Portrait Questions 227

A Light Breeze Carries the Stink into My Backyard 227

Glimpse 228

How Small, How Very Far Away 229

The Hero Explains 229

Framed 230

Quartet 231

He Finished Up Down Nine-Clog Pit 232

This Wooden Flag 234

Cat Hills 235

Rhapsody on Boat Names and Some Observations on the Weather 236

From the Garden, with the Mushroom 237

To Fold the Evening Star 238

Notes & Acknowledgements 241

Index of Titles 242

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