Poem by John Mole

Eyewear is very pleased to welcome John Mole. He was born in the early Forties, in Taunton, Somerset. Mole has appeared at various festivals both as a poet and jazz clarinettist, the latter on several occasions with fellow poet Roy Fisher. His most recent collection is Counting the Chimes: New & Selected Poems, 1975-2003, published by Peterloo Poets, from which the poem below is taken.

Peterloo Poets will be bringing out This is the Blackbird: Selected Poems for Children and The Other Day, a new collection for adults, later in 2007. Mole has compiled programmes for Radios 3 and 4, including Time for Verse and Poetry Please, and his collection of review essays, Passing Judgements, was described by Terry Eagleton in the Times Literary Supplement as 'striking just the right balance between high critical discourse and racy journalese.'

Recipient of the Gregory and Cholmondeley Awards for poetry, the Signal Award for his writing for children, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire, John Mole is currently resident poet to the City of London as part of the Poet in the City project.


Don't tell me again that it writes white
as if there were nothing else to say about it,

as if white were nothing to write home about
or that home was never a fit subject.

Yesterday we pegged sheets on the line
and they were beautiful when we took them in,

a cool bright acreage of summer evening
as we sank our faces in their folding.

It pleases me to remind you of this
however commonplace its whiteness,

and of the bedroom shutters' brilliant white
so intimately closed against the heat.

White is the promise of a subject matter
where sleep or love will never have gone better.

Poem by John Mole
from Counting the Chimes: New & Selected Poems, 1975 – 2003

photo credit: Caroline Forbes
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