Grateful acknowledgement is made to copyright holders for permission to quote the following: ‘Let’s Hear it for Goliath’ from Out of Wales: Fifty Poems 1973–1983, by Jon Dressel, reprinted by permission of Alun Books; ‘Annus Mirabilis’ from Collected Poems by Philip Larkin, quoted with permission from Faber and Faber Ltd and from Farrar, Straus and Giroux; ‘If I Could Tell You’ from Collected Poems by W.H. Auden, quoted with permission The Wylie Agency and from Random House Inc; ‘Records’ from Collected Poems by Robert Lowell, quoted with permission from Faber and Faber Ltd and from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
We would like to thank a number of people for their (sometimes unwitting) contributions to this book; in particular, Terence Brown, John Coggrave, Patrick Crotty, Bob Jones, Dewi and Yvonne Jones, Bianca Knights, Stuart Murray, John Nash, Amanda Piesse, Brin Price, Ian Campbell Ross, Madeleine Ruth, Elena Seymenliyska, Christina Wipf-Perry and, collectively, the students who participated in our course ‘Poetry: Form, Language, Interpretation’ from 1995 to 2008.
Since this book is very much a joint venture, a note on our method of collaborating is appropriate. Each chapter was written by only one of us, but before the first draft was produced we worked closely together to determine the scope of each chapter, and afterwards worked to try and make chapters fairly consistent in terms of style and tone. Stephen Matterson is primarily responsible for the Introduction, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6 and Chapter 9 and the final section of 8, and Darryl Jones for Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 7 and Chapter 8. It is likely the reader will perceive the different authorship because of the range of poems that we tend to draw on for examples and the way our different literary and theoretical interests are engaged, but, to adapt Mark Twain’s ‘Explanatory’ to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, we did not want readers to suppose that the authors were trying to sound alike and not succeeding.
Darryl Jones would like to dedicate his share of the book to Margaret Robson and Miss Morgan Elizabeth Hannah Jones, age 15, with love.
Stephen Matterson would like to thank Jimmy, Jimmy, John, Nick and Laurie and all the people who know why.