Variant Air - Richard Osmond

Variant Air
£ 4.00 each

Born in 1987, Richard Osmond grew up in St Albans. By day, he works as a forager, gathering wild plants, fruits and fungi among the hedgerows of Hertfordshire. He is the first HappenStance poet (possibly the first poet ever) to have a double pamphlet debut. Of his two publications, Variant Air revisits the mode and style of Gerard Manley Hopkins, though not completely. The other, Shill, is in contemporary voice and style, though not . . . completely.

 A stanza from ‘The Fire in the Cottonian Library’, in the style and mode of Hopkins’ ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland’, in Variant Air.

         Why, God? Why? Why
      grant lower lyric licence
    to pass, past to present, but deny
      the right of the unrhymed, dense-
  -ly alliterative half line to life, and let it die unleafed?
  Why unleash hell’s whole in foul violence
      against your greatest gilded gift
and melt mind’s metal down in the infernal furnace?


Advice (from Shill)

In the great game of Cups & Balls,
be neither mark nor mountebank.
Be the shill who beats them both:
the one by guile, the other by the rules.


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