The Great Vowel Shift

£4.00

Robin Houghton’s first pamphlet brings together poems published in a range of magazines including The Rialto, The North, Poetry News and Obsessed with Pipework.

“… equally at home in poignancy and exuberance” – John McCullough

“… an admirable balance of tenderness and terseness” – Hamish Canham Award judges on ‘Ellipsis’

“… a sense of the oceanic is achieved with the minimum of words and props” – Pascale Petit on ‘Midnight Pickup’

Telltale Press 2014, ISBN 978-09928555-0-5   16 pages

Robin Houghton’s first pamphlet brings together poems published in a range of magazines including The Rialto, The North, Poetry News and Obsessed with Pipework.

“… equally at home in poignancy and exuberance” – John McCullough

“… an admirable balance of tenderness and terseness” – Hamish Canham Award judges on ‘Ellipsis’

“… a sense of the oceanic is achieved with the minimum of words and props” – Pascale Petit on ‘Midnight Pickup’

Reviews of The Great Vowel Shift

Afric McGlinchey at Sabotage Reviews
“Robin Houghton’s chapbook, beautifully produced by Telltale Press, is an engaging collection of amuse-bouches, alternating droll, slant narratives with subtle poignancy. (…) her poems live equally comfortably in rural (riverine) and urban environments, and her diversity, cultural references and lack of self-consciousness are really refreshing.”
Read the full review here …

John Field at Poor Rude Lines
“… a masterclass in memory… Houghton interrogates feeling with dispassion and bravery.”
Read the full review here…

Jan Fortune in Envoi
“Houghton shifts easily from tender to poignant, from honed to abundant, always retaining a sense of linguistic play and imagination. A fine new voice to watch.”

Clare Best in The Frogmore Papers
“… a beautifully balanced short pamphlet collection… each (poem) absolutely earns its place”

 

The Great Vowel Shift

It was just before lunch when the first signs came:
the big flat of my tongue trembled, something lodged
between molars, quiet at first, the odd groan,
like an oak drawer not quite settled.

I heard your words lift from chin to eye, ripe with crunch
or a clock chime. It struck me as strange, the long pull
of voices stretching themselves thin like catgut
or pudding skin. All day we tested sounds

like new clothes, filled them out, always up and round.
By night-time our jaws ached. You lay down and moulded
in your mouth love-words from flax and streetlight.
Listen, I think you said, and laughed.

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