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Giles Goodland

Page 32 (poem 1931) line 15: insert double line space after the word ‘soup’: delete semi-colon

Author’s Note: This was a poem in the form of an erratum slip, and with each erratum slip, I sent a copy of my book, A Spy in the House of Years (Leviathan, UK, 2001). The idea of the peripheral text — the erratum slip — being central, and the book itself peripheral, amused me, especially when the book referred to was one in which textual apparatus is central; and it also provided some small answer to a practical problem, in that within months of A Spy in the House of Years being published, its publisher, Leviathan, ceased trading. In consequence, my book — 100 sonnets, one for each year of the Twentieth Century, each sonnet collaged from 14 sources that originated in a particular year, with full references at the back — was not, after that short time, sent for review, promoted, advertised, or distributed. Since the book had taken me some seven years to compose, after a few years, I decided to buy back the unsold copies of my book; for which I would like to thank Michael Hulse for his great generosity. I rapidly realised that storing these several boxes of books in my attic was pointless. An unread book might just as well be thrown away. The Chapbook Kollektiv provided an opportunity to distribute the book to a fairly large number of possibly sympathetic readers.

Here is sonnet 1931 in its corrected form, together with the appended source references:


Penis, sight of another man’s, most dangerous

within its coils lies a disk grooved by a tongue of fire. This is the ‘Pearl of the Dragon’, symbol of thunder and lightning, and

influence particularly the visual and auditory spheres

damage total. Waves seen on ground surface. Lines of sight and level distorted. Objects thrown upwards into the air

there is no interrogation in those eyes or in the hands, quiet over

a three-in-one garment, comprising vest, bloomers, and underpants

he sat down himself, when she left the room, overpowered by the very idea of

the occurrence of emotional elements and pseudoperceptions (centrally evoked perceptions)

in the complex, involved, manifoldly conditioned ‘appearances’ of this kaleidoscopic world

a poisonous reptile, called aranai, was found in the soup

he opened his mouth, but before a sound came out of it, Doreen said

heart-stirring, memory-haunting Coty odeurs are what every woman secretly hopes for

in this manner the head officials of a prosperous company conceived the idea of putting through the wages books large sums in respect of fictitious names and ‘dead’ men

all the while writing, or moving swiftly with the pointer of the ouija board.

R Goodland Bibliog. Sex Rites 722; A Dilley Oriental Rugs & Carpets 209; L Lewin Phantastica Narcotic & Stimulating Drugs 31; Bull. Seismol. Soc. Amer. XXI 283; T Eliot ‘Triumphal March’ Coll. Poems (1970) 140; Advertiser (Adelaide) 7 Oct.10; E Bowen Friends & Relations 98; G Stern Meaning & Change of Meaning 290; F Grove Apologia Pro Vita et Opere Sua in G Lynch & D Rampton eds. Canad. Essay (1991) 54; Notes & Queries CLX 110/1; J Cannan High Table 161; Good Housekeeping Dec. 132/2; G Freeman Misc. of Frauds & Defalcations 19; TLS 24 Dec. 1036/4.

having shifted some 70 copies of the book through the Dusie Kollektiv, I now have only another 800 or so to sell, trade, or give away (please, reader, let me know if you would like one).

The good news is that a generous selection of these poems (including ‘1931’) are being republished in Jeff Hilson’s forthcoming anthology, The Reality Street Book of Sonnets (Reality Street, 2008).

Giles Goodland

Giles Goodland

Giles Goodland’s last book was Capital from Salt (2006). Other books include Littoral (Oversteps, 1996) and Overlay (Odyssey, 1998). He works as a lexicographer and lives in London.

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