Pyramid of Men
Attributed to Juste de Juste (ca 1505–1559)
The Lost Songs of Gravity
Isbn 9782919582266 – June 2020 – 112 pages – £13 / 14 €
After The End of the Trial of Man (2015), in which Paul Stubbs sought to go beyond the imagination with poems based on the paintings of Francis Bacon, this new collection is the search for a planet-less, more elusive deity. In each poem, a new protagonist is forced to struggle with the age-old finite choice of God or no-God, but also with the outcome of that decision causing (potentially) the loss of gravity itself. Thus we encounter poems attempting to reach the theological and philosophical limit of cognition, as Paul Stubbs tussles with and questions the ideas of various thinkers (Simone Weil, Spinoza, Kierkegaard, Duns Scotus, Kant, among others): amid the anthropological and epistemological possibilities of transcending the human condition and our world, the poet seeks to locate a later phase of mankind (if not a new version of it) preparing to wait eternally “for the first true church / to fall from the clouds”.
“Everything about the verse is transgressive and brand-new and seemingly home-made. It’s no good tutting over its metrical or grammatical misbehaviour – you must just watch the visions and let the rules remake themselves.”
—Alice Oswald, The Poetry Review
The New Threshold
When man turns away from God, he simply gives himself up to gravity.
Today, a weight, floating clear of the lignified,
unsheathing (prematurely?) the still-salvable
from their celestial cauls...
(to haul back and make land the true Jerusalem,
that relic-encrusted meteorite still in full-flight),
while on a hilltop, too late? in view of a holy frown,
the carcass of the next planet’s
Christ is taken down.
Paul Stubbs is the author of several poetry collections, and of books of poetical and philosophical essays. Visions de l’outre-monde, a selection of poems translated into French, i published by Hochroth-Paris. His poems and essays have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including The Bitter Oleander, The High Window, The Wolf, The Poetry Review, The Shop, and the French literary magazines Les Carnets d’Eucharis, Nunc, Temporel.fr, and Poésie première. He has been invited to read at the National Poetry Library (London), at Oxford University, at the Seamus Heaney Centre, at Kings Lynn Festival, and at various venues in New York and Paris. He also wrote the introductions of various books. He received awards for his writing from the Society of Authors and Arts Council East.
Also by Paul Stubbs
The Return to Silence (2016)
Ex Nihilo (2010)