November 2000

Ian Gregson


Ian Gregson was born in Manchester in 1953. He read English at Oxford and completed a PhD on the poetry of H.D. at the University of Hull. In 1981, he received a Gregory Award for his poetry, which has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review, and The London Review of Books, among others. His poetry was also featured in the seminal British anthology A Rumoured City: New Poets From Hull, edited by Douglas Dunn. He has also reviewed poetry for a wide range of journals and is the author of two critical books: Contemporary Poetry and Postmodernism: Dialogue and Estrangement (1996) and The Male Image: Representations of Masculinity in Postwar Poetry (1999), both published by Macmillan/St Martin's Press. He lectures in English at the University of Wales in Bangor.
The Sick Room    Click to hear in real audio

A man reading The Daily Herald,
a woman and her pram, struggling with a bag,
a girl skipping and talking to her doll,
two workmen running in overalls—
my father jerked his hand up pushing them away as they passed through the curtains
and door over his bed. I was five. My mother wouldn't let me see how hard the
room was taking it. It wasted away, worn to nothing by pedestrians filing through.
Colour was draining from the roses on the wall.
The ceiling thinned, letting in the sky.
Tarmac was emerging through the floor.
My father whitened, turning into his sheets.
One morning there were street noises behind the door.
The city repossessed the room, swept the curtains back. Distances entered. Last
time I went there, the room had been worn to a pavement by the feet.



Ian Gregson: Poetry
Copyright 2000 The Cortland Review Issue 14The Cortland Review