Parapets and Labyrinths

A Belgian pagoda and a red Hungarian hedgehog; 12-year-old Hector Berlioz falls in love; a French tribute to Edgar (Allan) Poe; lakes in Germany and Italy, rivers in Switzerland; home thoughts from the Mediterranean; the bloody end of bonny Kate; the painters El Greco and Csontváry; variations on Dostoyevsky, Turgenev and Chekhov; Catullus celebrates erotic marriage; with much more.

Tom Hubbard takes us on another poetic tour of Europe, offering a number of translations (or rather transcreations) on the way.

Parapets and Labyrinths, a collection of poems mainly in English (but with a significant presence of the Scots language – glossary included), is a companion volume to The Chagall Winnocks, which was published by Grace Note Publications in 2011.

The poet wears his learning lightly, more of a cultivated “flâneur” than a stuffy academic. If there is anything labyrinthine about these poems, it is because the poet is no mere aficionado of the “grand tour”, but sharply observant, knowing there is nothing straightforward about Europe and its outlying archipelago of the British Isles, Ireland and Iceland. Darkness may be latent in many of the poems, but the pleasure principle trumps everything else in the poetry of Tom Hubbard.

 

Tom Hubbard

Novelist and poet; former visiting professor at overseas universities (Budapest, Connecticut, Grenoble); first Librarian of the Scottish Poetry Library, 1984-92.