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45 Minutes


My poem “45 Minutes” has just been posted on the Artisan Initiatives website. It was written for the Artisan magazine time-themed issue, but they couldn’t fit in. Never mind, I’m happy with online publication and very pleased to contribute. However, when you read it, bear in mind that each of the lines beginning “time enough” is supposed to be indented, which it isn’t on the web page, and that the other lines have run over the end of the rather tight space it has been put in. It does nark somewhat when people ignore the shape of the poem on the page, but perhaps my long lines were somewhat impractical for the publication!

Update: the formatting has now been corrected and the poem looks as I intended it. (Thanks, Jess!)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Alex permalink
    12/08/2008 22:12

    Abdel once sent me a set of his sonnets by e-mail by way of a sneak preview pre-publication. I really loved the wonderful, stark and contra-intuitive line-breaks and complemented him on them.

    It was only later, when they appeared in print, that I learned that the brilliant layout was due to my e-mail program’s automatic linebreak function 🙂

    Like the poem a lot, except for the last line, which is not poetry but opinion. Ich habe genug…

  2. Dave King permalink
    13/08/2008 09:52

    Shame they couldn’t fit you in. I sympathise, having suffered in the same way, having editors rearrange the lineation for me! Great poem, though. I enjoyed it. Deserves a better fate, though perhaps it yet has a better fate awaiting it. Let’s hope so.

  3. Andrew Philip permalink
    13/08/2008 15:49

    Thank you both, gentlemen. As you can see from the update, they've fixed it. That's the beauty of online publication.

    There's something kind of Oulipo about your story with Abdel’s sonnet, Alex.

    If that last line isn’t poetry then, rather than opinion, it’s experience. And it’s the experience that’s central to the poem. Perhaps I need to rethink it.

  4. Andrew Philip permalink
    14/08/2008 19:38

    Meant to say, Dave, that the poem is included in the manuscript of my forthcoming Salt collection.

  5. Alex permalink
    15/08/2008 00:59

    Aha – the formatting makes all the difference! For one thing, it reveals the “dialogue”, which pretty much eggs my face re. the “opinion” snark (well-meant as always ;-).

    Nonetheless, it begs the questions “for what?” and “for whom?”. 45 minutes can be time enough to invoke a lifetime of love…

    P.S. Had to google Oulipo. Silly sods. Although one might argue that the formal constraints of a petrachian sonnet are equally arbitrary (this btw relates to what was so great about the spurious linebreaks in the Abdelkader e-mail: the tight form of the sonnets was offset beautifully by the quixotic linebreaks. They had been shattered, but it was their fragility that revealed their beauty.)

  6. Andrew Philip permalink
    15/08/2008 15:40

    See, I know what I’m doing (most of the time)! But I also know you’ve a good ear, Alex, and wouldn’t take any of your criticisms as anything other than well meant.

    I did try to embed a link to the Wikipedia entry on Oulipo. For some reason, my links in comments aren’t appearing even though the code doesn’t get rejected. I’ve tried again; maybe I was getting the code wrong.

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