Antique and frantic and antediluvian,
Monument massive, impassive, magnificent,
Rich as the Inca, the golden Peruvian,
Fashioned with passion, a festival sculptural,
Multiform, vermiform, multidimensional,
Menhir memorious, mass-multicultural,
Scorning the classical strictly conventional,
Solemn sepulchral, sombre funereal,
Garden of grief for the Empress of India,
Dateless as sorrow and weightless as Ariel,
Strong as an ox where the weather wears windier.
Work is the theme and the dream is sensational,
Honour imperial, manner laborious,
Heavenward soaring in mode inspirational,
Votive Victorian, happy and glorious.
John Whitworth is one of those fattish, baldish, backward-looking, provincial poets in which England is so rich. His tenth collection, Girlie Gangs, was published by Enitharmon in 2012 to international acclaim. Well, Les Murray liked it. And Walter Ancarrow in America. You might also consider Writing Poetry published by A & C Black, one of those how-to books; it has run to a second edition and is pretty good, though he (the poet) would say that, wouldn’t he? He once won £5,000 for a single poem. Listen and marvel.