The posts I wrote at that time may be found by clicking the image below:
A box double-locked by the spider
Packed with your unsolved problems
The last three years has actually been a very exciting time for Tessimond. While I’ve been beavering away with the aim of producing a book on him by 2012, the rest of the world has made signs that it is beginning to notice the unnoticeable.
Faber have brought back into print with their excellent Faber Finds series, Hubert Nicholson’s posthumous selection of Tessimond’s verse Not Love Perhaps. At present, this is the only collection of the poet’s work in print, and provides alongside the poems a personal and illuminating introduction by the poet’s literary executor and friend.
In November, Bloodaxe will reissue the 1985 Collected Poems, and then the majority of Tessimond’s writing will available to read. I have turned up a handful of other pieces not included in this edition, mostly what Nicholson, quite fairly, discounts as “chaff and juvenilia” – but one or two probably are worth a bit more attention.
Before then though, Tessimond is available to enjoy on Radio Four next Sunday as the first in Brian Patten’s series of Lost Voices. The series itself needs applauding; it presents half-hour portraits of poets who on the whole you won’t have heard of, but if all were just and fair in the world, you would have done because they are writers deserving your attention. I was interviewed at Broadcasting House back in February for the Tessimond programme, and having seen just some of what goes into making one of these I’m really looking forward to the rest. Tracking down these lost figures of poetry, Brian Patten and Christine Hall the producer, are as much as a detective agency as programme makers – in the last series having discovered that one the poets, previously supposed to be dead, was still in fact alive.
The Tessimond programme will for the first time present interviews with people still living that knew the poet. It’s invaluable for that, but invaluable also for just letting people notice this remarkable man.
Not the bright light dashed out,
Not the gold glory smashed
Like a lamp upon the floor,
But the guttering away,
The seep, the gradual grey,
The unnoticed, without-haste-
Unwept, unwritten waste.