Publication Date: 01-Jan-01 | ISBN: 1876857080 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 216pp | Format: Paperback
UK Distribution: | USA Distribution: | Publishing Status: Active
Terrain Seed Scarcity opens with a selection of poems in which the concern for scarcity as a speculative edge first surfaced, and is followed by six sequences arranged in short prose clusters or stanzas, sometimes with verse tail-pieces. Four of these focus directly on trees: under the aspect of addition as a branching diversion rather than a dispersal; the co-forms of forest evoked as edge, line and verticality; plantations as parallels to a re-covered, stretched centre; a lean, denuded outcrop of trees better served by what wheels around it than by what it fails to contain. Some of these sequences are accompanied by brief essays as sideshoots or offshoots. Other poems work through the sourcefulness of an environmental sink figured also as recess or protection, and there is a set of minimalist sententiae which rework 18th century landscape aesthetics. The collection ends with a cycle of syllabic poems, ‘Spirit of the Trees’ derived from a once popular anthology. Some of the more recent material is published here for the first time.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
From Scarce Norm Scarcer Mean; i; ii; iii; iv; v; vi; vii; viii; Additional Trees; Tending : Prolepsis; I; II; III; Seek Source Bid Sink; I; II; III; Three Forest Conformities; I; II; III; Attached, Assoiled; I; II; III; IV; Parallels Plantations Apart; I: Dur Hill; II: Throwley; III: Duke’s Plantation; IV: Central Wood; Landscape with Figures Afield; Whitefield in Wild Wheel; 1: Prelude; 2: The Clump; 3: A Fragment Striates; 4: With Wheeling Economy; 5: Love’s Plenary Analogy; Spirit of the Trees; The Beech Tree’s Petition (TC); To a Dead Tree (GNC ); The Elder Tree (WC); Morning, the Sixteenth Day (RC); The Wych-Elm (RC); The Poplar Field (WC); Apple Tree (JD); The Willow (WD-L-M); The Leafless Tree (BMD); Reciprocity (JD); An Elegy of Elms (ARF); Ode to a Tree (JG); The Votive Tree (EG); Elms (JG); In a Wood (TH); Binsey Poplars (GMH); Song of Poplars (AH); Magnolia (IJ); The English Garden (WM); Orchard Idyll (SM); Dirge in the Woods (GM); Lines Written on an August Morning (JMM); Tree Planting (AN); The Scotch Fir (WHO); Song of Palms (AO’S); In the Beechwood (JDCP); Poplars (MP); Hawthorns (DUR); The Trees of the Garden (DGR); Trees (MS); The Cuckoo Wood (EBS); Outlived by Trees (SS); A Hollow Elm (ES); The Tree Uprooted (DSS); Copper Beeches (KS); The Holly Tree (RS); The Silent Trees (JS); Aspens (ET); The Yew Tree (ALT); The Tree (EU); The Timber (HV); Winter Branches (AV); Song of the Redwood-Tree (WW); Yew Trees (WW)
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“With a few exceptions, the sequences collected in Terrain Seed Scarcity are formally of a piece: a series of brief, extremely dense prose paragraphs, separated by large stanza breaks. Occasionally a prose passage breaks into verse, though the tense, verbless notations and almost arbitrary linebreaks (often mid-word) have a texture closer to open-form marginalia than polished lyric utterance … Despite my hesitations and uncertainties about this often very difficult collection, it gives me a firmer sense of the importance of what Larkin’s doing in a way that encountering his individual chapbooks never did … Larkin himself is sometimes almost painfully modest in his claims for his work – at one point he says it hopes to achieve ‘a minor freshness’ (82) – but for this reader Terrain Seed Scarcity was one of the genuine discoveries of the past few years.” —The Gig
“This is a long-overdue collection which I welcome unreservedly. Ten years of complex prose poetry concerned with matters ecological and with the possibility of post-modern pastoral. Innovative stuff indeed, it can be thorny in places, as befits the dense undergrowth of this terrain, but finishes with the luminous seven-line ‘found’ verses of ‘Spirit of the Trees’.” —Shearsman
Peter Larkin was born in 1946 and has been Philosophy & Literature Librarian at Warwick University for many years, with research interests in ecocriticism and postmodern theology. He runs Prest Roots Press with its commitment to affordable fine press work. He has contributed to Reality Studios, Fragmente, Parataxis, Talisman, Shearsman, Inscape, Salt, Terrible Work and Angelaki and appeared in Ten British Poets (1993).