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A Hidden Language

Michael Cullup




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In his new collection (his third with Greenwich Exchange) Michael Cullup explores the hidden language behind what we actually want and try to say. The earlier influences of poets like Robert Graves and Robert Frost have given way to the later influences of poets like Conrad Aiken and W.S. Graham, whose methods are mediated by the preoccupations of a poet like C.H.Sisson. Through them, Michael Cullup has tried to find a way of being true to spontaneous feeling modulated by developing an easy and fluent line.

In his first three collections, Michael Cullup followed convention by giving his poems titles and restricting them to a single theme or idea. However, with Matelot, he broke free of this kind of restriction and tried to allow the sequence to find its own pace and rhythm. In doing so, he managed to open the way for less confined content and greater imaginative space. These new poems extend that exploration, the numbered sequence following its own drift.

The permanent themes of poetry (life, personal history, love, suffering, and death) are here set in the context of one man's subjective impressions of what has happened, and continues to happen, in his own personal life. There is no simple solution to the confusing experiences of a lifetime but, hopefully, a trust in language to unravel some of these confusions and give them validity on the page is the motivating pressure behind this sequence of poems.


About the author:

Michael Cullup was born in Washington, Sussex but was deserted by his mother when he was three years old. Because of their father's business commitments, he and his sister went to live with their grandparents in Abbotsley, a village in Huntingdonshire. They never saw their mother again. After being a pupil at the village school, Michael Cullup went to Kimbolton School, in the same county. Following National Service in the Royal Navy, he went on to UCL and Birkbeck. Eventually, he became a teacher and taught English at all levels in England and abroad, finally retiring in 1993 to become a full-time writer. He lives in Norwich and has published more than twenty books.


78  pages

ISBN: 978-1-910996-33-1

Greenwich Exchange Category: Poetry

Series: None



Other books by Michael Cullup published by Greenwich Exchange:

W.H. Davies: Man and Poet - A Reassessment


The Poetry of Robert Graves

Understanding Grammar

The Poetry of Harold Monro

A Change of Season