David Lewiston Sharpe – the poetry

“For me, a poem possesses more of the quiet, distilled desire to halt time and frame a vignette in the unbounded continuum of life than any of the other innumerable attributes ascribed to it. It is a universal locus and a lens for all light.”

For David Lewiston Sharpe, writing poetry preceded composing, and even learning or playing, music. His first serious poetic work was written while travelling through Egypt in 1999 – and began with a sequence of ten sonnets composed in and around Thebes in Upper Egypt. These ten poems established the beginnings of what became, over a period of seven years, a process of compiling a book of 100 sonnets – the first of four books of poetry issued so far. He has worked at the Poetry Society, as Publications Manager, and in 2009 created an exhibition with photographer R.J. Conibear, of poetry and photography – held at Forty Hall, Enfield.


The Scroll of Lost Songs – 24 Classical Odes (forthcoming, 2014)
xliii; 85 pages. £10
From the back cover: ‘Genealogy, tracing two particular veins or vital lineages, constitutes an underlying principle inscribing the themes of this poetic sequence. Or rather, these two sequences: sequences that are in fact not, as two groups, sequential, but which are concurrent, interwoven, consubstantial – even informative palimpsests of one another. Conventional genealogy and various literary genealogies undergo an attempted synthesis via this ‘double-sided’ cycle of poems.
‘There are two sides to a papyrus roll, recto and verso, and two broad dimensions of life – outer and inner. The fragility of its material consistency opens up spaces, or lacunae, in the process of its unrolling. Light can flash through, carrying fleeting fragments of the words which may be said to shimmer on the side not always seen, to the peripheral vision of the reader: another, or even, indeed, oneself.
‘With an introductory essay exploring the world of the ode in its various forms, guises and histories, this collection of ‘new’ odes attempts to revive an old ideal.’

The Circle of the Seasons – A Tapestry of Photography and Poetry (2009)
88 pages; 46 photos. £10
The product of a collaboration between the poet and the Bristol-based photographer R.J. Conibear, this book arose out of an exhibition weaving together 40 photographs and an extended poetic work in four sections. The Circle of the Seasons is a meditation on aspects of the natural world through the seasons, from Summer through to Spring.

Dreaming the Book of Kalos – A Narrative Poem (2003-2008; pubd. 2008)
120 pages; 7 illustrations by the author. £10
Based on a series of seven dreams that the poet had around the year 2000, this long poem – in 21 cantos – constructs a symbolic and psychological narrative drawing on the art, architecture and cosmogony of ancient Egypt.

The Spoken River – 100 Sonnets (1999-2005/6; pubd. 2008)
76 pages. £7.50
Comprising three sequences of 15 sonnets, as well as a significant number of individual, free-standing poems, this book sets out to explore and formalise aspects of the workings of memory and emotion.

More information and links to images, relating chiefly to the photography in The Circle of the Seasons, will follow shortly…

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