Roy Fisher’s Selected Poems, edited by August Kleinzahler. ISBN 978-0-9819520-6-2 $15.95. Now available.
Selected Poems presents the remarkable range of Roy Fisher’s restless and exploratory poetry. Stripped of ornament, skeptical in temperament, these poems find music in sharp angles, hesitations, and silences. They often move through post-industrial landscapes of Birmingham and the English Midlands, registering crepuscular half-tones, “the dog odour / of water,” and “malted-milk brickwork.” Beyond such literal subjects, Fisher captures the intermingling of fancy and perception, the play of light and shadow in the mind itself. As Kleinzahler suggests in his foreword to this volume, “The eye darts about in Fisher’s poetry. It abhors the object at rest, framing of any kind. It’s like a camera, jerking and swiveling on an unstable tripod. Early and late, the poetry is about the eye in motion. The shifts may be subtle or vertiginously abrupt. It’s best not to get too comfortable as you progress through a poem because you’re not going to be where you think you are for long.”