I’m a member of the Poetry Society and receive their quarterly magazine, Poetry Review. This time they have had a guest editor, George Szirtes, one of the best contemporary poets, and a great Facebooker and Twitterer. He has certainly chosen a fantastic selection of new poetry. The one I absolutely love is AB Jackson’s “Of Elephants” which I don’t completely understand, but seems to be something to do with Pliny the Elder reporting on the habits of this exotic species, which Pliny himself may not have actually seen. I love the way the poem is a mashup of real facts about elephants and complete fabrications. The whole effect of the archaic language, the elephants doing ” a kind of Morrish Dance” and the fact that they “snuffe and puffe” is magical. The elephants seem wise, and friendly and even spiritual.
Normally I am wary of quoting huge chunks of poems that are in copyright, but I can see that this poem is available on the internet as a PDF, so… enjoy.