We were promised rain today by the forecasters.  Where is it?  Postponed until tomorrow.  Hmmph.  I’ll post this anyway, an extract from “Rising Damp” by U. A. Fanthorpe, one of my favourite poems of hers.  Her partner, R. V. Bailey, read it at the Enitharmon celebration on Monday night. 

They return spectrally after heavy rain,

Confounding suburban gardens. They infiltrate

Chronic bronchitis statistics. A silken

Slur haunts dwellings by shrouded

Watercourses, and is taken

For the footing of the dead.

What is Fanthorpe writing about?  Here’s the poem’s refrain:

Effra, Graveney, Falcon, Quaggy,

Wandle, Walbrook, Tyburn, Fleet.


(U. A. Fanthorpe, 1982, from Standing To, Calstock: Peterloo – re-collected in 2010, New and Collected Poems, London: Enitharmon, p.77)


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