Ping-Pong in the Rain

In 2014 I won the Erbacce Prize for a poetry collection which is this book. I believe it succeeded because of the 'V' poems. A series of poems based on the juxtaposition of two random ideas. These make up the first section of the book and try, in a casual way, to explore the crazy times we live in. The rest of the book contains selected poems from the last two decades.

Here's what John Glenday said about the book:

'Ping-Pong in the Rain' is an astonishing and wide-ranging collection – it transports the reader from Bladerunner to Napoli, from Uranus to butt plugs, in poems that are in turn witty, lyrical, erudite and hilarious. Throughout the book, Taylor displays a consistent intelligence and insight that builds into a truly memorable work – a worthy winner of the Erbacce Prize.

Knotbrook Taylor is poet who takes an obvious delight in language, and this collection, which combines the accomplished 'Versus' sequence with a selection from two decades of writing, is especially welcome. If you need reminding just how much poetry can do for you when it's done well, then start here.

panic on the cliff V mummification

I want a carapace: a shell: to be isolated from the world
so wrap me in polythene and bring me back into myself
I want to be insulated: bundled up
focussed: helpless: safe
body present – mind cut adrift on a sweated sensual sea
wrap me and rescue me...

memory is the coal we burn to live – everything is not rotten
some of the birds who live on the cliff can only fly by falling into the air
we refute Muldoon's black rainbow...

the jumper stood on the cliff and said:
I'm not afraid of change I'm afraid of staying the same...

and when he jumped – there was no last second panic in his eye
just peace – he really knew how to have a good

(if exceptionally brief)


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