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Martin Stannard: Pick of the Week [ed. Terence Winch]

Stannard photo 29.6.22















Princess of Thieves


Since you left I’ve been absolutely fine,

And I have something else I want to say:

That “Best of Phil Collins” CD you have is mine.


I have not slumped into a terminal decline

And Celia, I welcome each new sunshiny day.

Since you left I’ve been absolutely fine.


It may be that you think I have no spine

But you’re wrong, and the truth is here to stay:

That “Best of Phil Collins” CD you have is mine.


Celia, I have never been the sort to whine,

And this is what I simply have to convey:

Since you left I’ve been absolutely fine.


As I crack open another bottle of wine

The absence of that record causes me dismay.

Celia, that “Best of Phil Collins” CD is mine.


It is not in my nature to weakly repine

And every day I go out with my friends to play.

Since you left I’ve been absolutely bloody fine,

And Celia, that “Best of Phil Collins” CD is mine.


Martin Stannard lives in Nottingham, England, in quiet retirement with his cat, Xiao Mei. He was the editor/publisher of joe soap’s canoe magazine from 1978–1993, where he championed New York poets including Paul Violi, Tony Towle, and Charles North. His poetry and reviews have been published widely since the late 1970s, his most recent titles being The Review (Knives Forks and Spoons, 2020) and Reading Moby-Dick and Various Other Matters (Leafe Press, 2020). “Princess of Thieves” is one poem in a short sequence now called “To Celia” that was originally written as a (slightly humorous but at the same time very serious) series of blog posts called “How To Write Poetry,” with tutorials on the sonnet, villanelle, triolet, sestina, and pantoum. These very useful guides can be found here.  


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Best American Poetry Web ad3
click image to order your copy
BAP ad
"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

Click image to order


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