About Me

About Me
I am a writer, editor and translator living in West Yorkshire. I have a degree and masters in Literature and Philosophy from London Universities. I obtained a PGCE in English and History and taught for two years in a secondary school in England. My writing credits can be viewed here. I have had two poetry books published and am a co-translator of Alain-Fournier:Poems (Carcanet, 2016). I work as an editor and associate publisher at The High Window Press.



The Great Gatsby

excerpt from 'Green, Blue and Yellow: the use of colours as adjectives in The Great Gatsby' from The Great Gatsby Anthology (Silver Birch Press, 2015)


Blue is used as an adjective ten times. This colour creates and casts a series of atmospheric shadows throughout the book. Without this use of blue The Great Gatsby would be an inferior novel. Blue gives the book a blue tone, blue moods, blue atmosphere, blue delights. Blue tends to permeate more than any other colour. It seaps through the surrounding pages. Blue is a long term investment for the author's ambition in this novel. If yellow is the plotting and characterisation, then blue is its structure and style. Cast in a blue light the novel resembles something like a fable or a fairy tale. Describing the grounds of Gatsby's mansion and the people coming and going Fitzgerald writes this humdinger of perfect prose: 'In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars'. Blue is the colour that Nick Carraway associates with Gatsby as a self-made man: 'He had come a long way to this blue lawn'. The novel moves through the 'blue smoke of brittle leaves'. The dress of Lucille, an uninvited guest at one of Gatsby's nightly parties, is 'gas-blue', a chaffeur's uniform is 'robin's egg blue'. About Myrtle: 'a streak of hair lay like a dash of blue paint across her cheek', Gatsby has an '(indian) blue shirt', a character has 'a blue nose', George Wilson has 'light-blue eyes'. The pivotal part of the plotline before the climax of the novel revolves around misunderstanding about the colour of two cars. Tom Buchanan's is a 'blue coupe'.


The Return

i.m. Thomas Costello

Fifty summers gone,
and you walk to a field
in Ireland and claim the land
as your own, the farmhouse rubble
and thatch, now, as you return
to greener days of childhood play...
languid boy swinging
under the apple tree,
quick to jump and chase birds
and rabbits on days
               like these;

only the retch and clank of a gun
reminds you of darkness, the butt-end
of 'an Uncle's' grief; that's you −
hopping to school like a sparrow,
Gaelic boy speaking good Gaelic,
you again, aged five and two,
and the loss of your Ma & Da
respectively, 13, at the grave of Auntie Mary
(the woman you called Mother Mary),
boarding weeks later a boat -
Dublin - Liverpool - Halifax.

Twenty years on
                             and I the pilgrim;
(via Belfast and Sligo) I head to Galway.
I do not reach the farm.
I walk and walk, and watch
as your Milltown-Clashaganny-Tuam
converges to a vanishing point,
my dreamed of green land
you called home as far-fetched
as roots of a tree, our ancient name
                              de Angelos?

At the B&B in Galway Town
our surname is spoken
with reverence by a silver-haired host
'We share the same name,
a sense of someone else's home
as I took the boat for Inis Mor,
discovering what ever Irishman knows,
every Irishman is alone,
Irishmen and Ireland alone,
before and after the splitting of the stone.


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