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ABCD October 2021

October 15, 2021

There were nine of us at the zoom meeting of Artists’ Book Club Dove on 9th October. Our thanks to Thalia for the use of her account.

Here is our book “Grand Women” on display at Two Rivers Paper in the new Arts Centre in Watchet.

Photo by Judith Staines

Judith has been rather more productive than some of us.

Concertina book of Mokuhanga prints by Judith Staines

“Cotinus blues and other leaves” – Judith. The method is a closely-guarded secret! For online courses, see here.

“My concertina book of dipped handmade papers is on its way to Japan for IAPMA exhibition in Toyota paper museum. Sadly I cannot go too!” -Judith.

“A hairy book for India Flint course” – Judith.

Clare showeed us her Scilly camping sketchbook. The last picture shows the bold exploits of a nocturnal oil-thief. She has also completed another two swimming sketchbooks.

Jane has started a lift-the-flap book of masks, seen here held together with paperclips.

Jane Paterson work in progress

Pauline has found a tin of old photos, including this one of her lost grandmother..

She has been experimenting with botanical inks. Lovely colours and shapes.

Judy is excited about words! Every stroke is a meditation.

Janine has completed her page for our Blizzard book “Strange Times”, visual and verbal snapshots of 2020.

Carol could not be with us, but she has made a flower-fold book from her recent experiments in printing one ink on top of another.

Caroline too was missing. She has sent a photo of a couple of pages from her diary of her new house, Bales, a house of straw.

Our next meetings will be on November 13th and December 11th, either in the print Studio or on Zoom. Meanwhile, here are the

October Dove-droppings

dark and even darker
a locked book
they’ll have to break in

art in a bottle
mosquitos in front
eclipsed by a cat

sealed and half-burnt
in Boudicca mode
a dead deer in the river

I fell into all three
longhorn caddis flies
the purple something

experiments with iron
liberating the colours
a mad book of masks

Penelope Circe Ariadne
alive in spite of everything
my missing grandmother

the word was made song
wayfaring lines
stop and look

a tidal island
dark brown and ancient
the pink elephant moth

weeding and mulching
preparing the ground
everything changes

After The Rime

October 2, 2021

A week after the event, some of us met on Zoom today to review the first post-lockdown meeting of Bath Writers and Artists in Widcombe Social Club, and to think about our future direction.

It had been good, and energising, to be physically together again. We all loved the venue – the big rooms full of light, the balcony with its view of tranquil water, the endlessly helpful staff, and the buffet lunch.

The morning writing workshop was sensitively chaired by Graeme, and participants have said how useful they found it.    

The very brief rehearsal of The Rime was an object-lesson in how to coax surprisingly good results from non-performers and improved results from seasoned performers. Our official understudy stepped into the space left by one who was at short notice unable to come. The performance itself was far from perfect; how could it be? But I hope we were convincing, and I certainly enjoyed taking part. All twelve of us will be better performers for having done it, thanks to Graeme. He is an inspirational drama coach. It was great to have a few spare minutes for a Q&A afterwards. We learned that The Rime had started life as a collaboration between Coleridge and Wordsworth. William wrote one line, scrapped it and left the job to Samuel. Coleridge revised the text many times over the years.

The two-part concert followed. We began with June’s intriguing appetiser from her newly published novel Foolish Heroines. The journey continued from seashore and shallows to the awe-inspiring deep. Graeme slipped seamlessly into another gap, in the reading of Eileen’s pamphlet Growl Purr Hiss Spit, about the illegal destruction of coral reefs. Verona, rising to the challenge of a lost script, delivered a riveting piece of storytelling. I have seldom seen such a spellbound audience. The performance of a 20th century sea-shanty, with Lagerphone accompaniment, rounded off the concert rousingly.

Illustrated by GustaveDore, and Mervyn Peake

The version of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner that we performed last week was pruned by me to give a running time of 25 minutes and to omit the more sentimental or repetitive passages. For no particular reason I have continued the pruning, revealing four sonnet-like poems hidden in The Rime’s more than 600 lines. My rule is to use words or part-words in the same order in which they occur in the original. On this occasion I abandoned my other rule of erasure, which is that it should tell a different story from that in the original.

There was a Ship
(an erasure of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
)

1.

It is the bride; and next, the guests, the feast.
There was a ship. His hand, his glittering eye!
His skinny hand! The sun came up, went down.
The loud bassoon! The merry minstrelsy!

But hear that ancient man: The storm-blast came.
Pursued with yell and blow, southward we fled.
At length – an albatross! A good south wind.
The albatross every day in mist or cloud…


Fiends that plague! I shot the albatross!
The sun now rose in mist, the glorious sun,
the bloody sun, day after day. The rot!
Slimy things crawl on slimy sea, and some
in dreams were plagued. We could not speak. We choked.
The albatross about my neck was hung.


2.

A weary time. A something in the sky.
A speck – a mist – a shape – a water-sprite!
Unslaked we stood and cried, A sail! A sail!
Hither without a breeze, without a tide,

that strange shape drove. How fast she nears and nears!
And is that Woman? Is that Death? The night-
mare Life-in-Death? “The game is done! I’ve won!”
Fear at my heart. The steersman’s face gleamed white.

Each turned and cursed me. Four times fifty men,
heavy, lifeless, dropped down one by one.
“I fear thee!” Fear not, Wedding Guest. Alone
my soul lived on. I looked, and tried to pray.
The dead were at my feet; I could not die.
The water-snakes I blessed. And I could pray.

3.

I dreamed: I thought I was a blessèd ghost.
The rain! The lightning! The loud wind! The dead
men groaned. They stirred. A ghastly crew!
“I fear
thee, Mariner!” Be calm. Those souls that fled

came again a troop of spirits blest.
I heard an angel’s song. We quietly moved
onward. I heard voices in the air:
“The Spirit himself loved the bird that loved

the man who shot him.” O his great bright eye!
Calm night. Moon. The dead men stood on deck.
Their stony eyes! The curse! I could not pray.
The frightful fiend breathed on me. See: the kirk!
Is this my country? Let me sleep alway!
Crimson colours! Crimson on the deck!


4.

I heard oars. I heard the pilot’s cheer.
I saw a boat, the pilot, and the boy.
The hermit I heard talk: ‘Why, this is strange!’
‘A fiendish look,’ the pilot made reply.

The boat came close. The ship went down like lead,
and like one drowned, my body lay afloat.
The hermit prayed. The boy laughed loud and long.
Now the hermit stepped forth from the boat.

‘Shrieve me, holy man!’ ‘Say quick,’ quoth he,
‘what manner of man art thou?’ Which forced me to
begin my tale, and then it left me free.
Since then, that agony returns. I know
the man that must hear me.
The Guest, alone,
is gone from the bridegroom’s door like one forlorn.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Posted by Ama Bolton on 2nd October 2021

A new programme from Bath Writers and Artists

September 10, 2021

The Sea, The Sea!

2-4.45pm Saturday 25 September 2021

A free afternoon celebrating all things marine and maritime, including a dramatic reading of Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and a wealth of original writing about the sea.

Venue: Waterfront Arts Bar, Widcombe Social Club, Lower Widcombe Hill, Bath BA2 6AA.

This programme, curated by Graeme Ryan of Fire River Poets and me, with help from Verona Bass, is the first physical meeting of Bath Writers and Artists for nineteen months, and the first meeting in our new venue, The Widcombe Social Club. It will include a rehearsed reading of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, followed after a short break by a concert of readings and songs. If you’d like to join us beforehand for lunch, let me know by 16 September at the latest – all diets can be catered for. Write to amabolton(at)hotmail(dot)com. Otherwise, just turn up before 2pm. The Waterfront bar can seat 100; it will not be crowded!
There will also be art on display, including this image, one of my experiments with botanical inks.

The venue is in Lower Widcombe Hill, a short walk from the bus and train stations.

Desire Lines

August 5, 2021

I’m enjoying taking part in this wide-ranging project. So far I’ve been on two expeditions. The first was to Nether Stowey and the beach at Kilve on 20th June, a day of mixed weather.

Poets and artists in the garden of Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey

Some photos from Kilve:

Desire Lines 1

Hydrangea petiolaris
climbs a wall
behind the pub

nice view of Hinkley Point!
lunch here?
let’s go on

thatched cottages in Holford
Alfoxton foxgloves
the road winds through woodland

not the grotty layby the other one
so this is the loaves and fishes
back to the 1950s

picnic in the car
in a layby
in the rain

there goes the exhaust
Kilve Kilve Kilve
down to the roaring beach

mullein teasel hedge-mustard agrimony
blue lias boulders
bladderwrack and scribbled pebbles

brown water grey headland
litter of shattered shale
wave lines slant to the shore

junction 23 roundabout
a mass of moon daisies
horses up to their knees in buttercups

I have the right
to be absolutely
wrong

The next day I dyed some thick rag-paper with the bladder-wrack I’d collected on the beach. I like the subtle results.


Our second expedition took us to Bridgwater and Steart Point on 3rd August, a perfect summer day. In Bridgwater we visited the delightful Somerset Brick and Tile Museum beside the River Parrett. Clay was dug in situ from the river bank and fired in bottle-kilns heated by coal and coke from South Wales, just across the Bristol Channel. The last remaining kiln has been preserved.

We spent the rest of the day exploring the wild wetlands of the Steart Peninsula. The marshes, rich with wildflowers and insect life, provide flood defence and are a haven for water-birds. We saw no litter, and maybe half a dozen other people all afternoon. It was a perfect day out in good company.

Somerset Brick and Tile Museum

the overburden
from river silt
industry in terminal decline

piecework
labour-intensive
boot with a blade to slice the clay

moulded and pressed
excess cut away
sprinkled with sand from Burnham

tiles stacked to dry
like books on shelves 
a dragon rampant on the roof

Boundaries

Sedgemoor
we need a map
where are the boundaries

irradiated
with Chinese laundry money
and a jumped-upstart game-player

birds don’t
dragonflies don’t
recognise boundaries

Steart

in the wilderness
almost off the map
much further out than you think

under a clear sky
sliced by powerlines
we turn left for the marshes

what can that be
out beyond the power station
ventilation for Mary’s Minecraft tunnel

clink of shingle
round pebbles underfoot
smooth and speckled as harbour seals

high tide at 2.40
it’s too quiet to eat crisps
listen can you hear the curlew

agrimony chicory bindweed
yarrow mustard common reed
bedstraw nightshade hawkweed

bees and butterflies
and not an albatross
but a pair of little egrets

the hide in the distance
Baba Yaga’s house
striding across the saltmarsh

a sheep leaps away
lively as a young buck
we’ve missed the footpath

beehives in a row
alder and willow at Cox’s Farm
a gift of courgettes at the gate

river and  sea
nearby but inaccessible
the little church of St Andrew

flat fields
sheep and pylons
raggedy quickthorn hedges

so still
so quiet
so close to Hinkley Point

Note: Hinkley C nuclear power station, with Chinese finance and French reactors, is the largest construction site in Europe. EDF hired gaming experts to help with the design process. A machine called Mary is digging a tunnel nearly two miles out to sea to lay a pipeline to bring water in for cooling.

ABCD July 2021

July 17, 2021

Ten of the thirteen members of Artists’ Book Club Dove met in Dove Meadow on 10th July for a bookish tea-party. Books old and new were passed around the circle, or (in the case of Judith’s monumental book Microseasons of the Dart) displayed on a table. Bron had baked feather-light scones, Clare provided a tin of her famous flapjacks, and others brought cakes, strawberries, cream and jam. The rain stayed away and it was almost hot at times.

Here is Microseasons of the Dart, by Judith Staines. Summary of a year of walking by the river Dart and collecting plant and other materials. You can read about the 72 Japanese microseasons here. Front view of the book:

And back view. The cover is collaged from papers coloured with botanical inks.

Here is Bron’s book, The Turning Year, finished that morning! It includes mokuhanga prints and handwriting in botanical inks.

Clare brought her current wild-swimming journal, watery covers enclosing observations in words and watercolour. Coptic-sewn with four needles.

Journal, Clare Diprose

This is a family of small books folded from cyanotypes by Janine. The second photo is her colourful silk appliqué accordion book.

Cyanotype books, Janine Barchard
Silk applique accordion book, Janine Barchard

Pauline and Jane brought some of the fruits of a course with Kathryn John.

Botanical inks by Pauline Pearce

Some of Jane’s samples are shown below.

Those who did not see it last time were able to handle our great album of ancestresses, Grand Women, beautifully bound by Bron and Judith, with cover title embroidered by Janine, cover linings by Kate and title-page by Judy.

A few more pages were added to our pandemic blizzard book, Strange Times.

Next meeting, by zoom or in person (who knows?), 4th September. And here are this month’s eavesdroppings.

July Dove-Droppings

I had to buy more bottles
in the middle of nowhere
on the mineral railway line

what stitch is that
with no shoes on
a date with a bottle of gin

raining in Glastonbury
between the hills
wedding bells

what are your weeds
bindweed I hate it
it’s a beautiful strangler

not making hay
come and glean
a handful of something

the front is the back
waiting for pages
they will come

it seems a distant dream
no point stopping there
nobody is a problem

A binge of books

July 11, 2021

I recently won a small amount of money in a poetry competition. Poem here. I have spent the prize money, many times over, on books.
I’d like to show you some of them. First up is Untravelling, an achingly beautiful new book by Mary Frances from Penteract Press. On each page a found landscape is paired with a few lines of cutup text. Every page is a meditation. It will mean something different each time it is read. It would be the perfect companion to take on a long journey, actual or metaphorical.

Mary Frances, from Untravelling

Next, two collections from Shearsman by Em Strang: Bird-Woman and Horse-Man. In these grounded and uncompromising poems the wild and the domestic run side by side, with all that implies: unease, strangeness, violence, mystery.

I recently read four of Erin Murphy‘s demi-sonnets in the online magazine Alba. I wanted to see more. I found one of her collections available in UK second-hand. Every poem in this book is a demi-sonnet (her own invention.) In tone, they range from heartbreak to wry humour. Below is one that caught my eye and my heart. I love the internal rhymes and the subtly implied, absent rhymes (eg nipples/ripples; need/seaweed; neck/wreck; take/break) and of course the subject. I like this poem just as much for what it leaves out as for what it says.

These poems pack many layers of meaning into their seven lines. They are worth reading again and again. I am so glad to have discovered this hugely talented American poet. You can find a wide variety of her poems on her website.

My recent long run of rejections has been interrupted by a few acceptances, for which I am grateful. I have two silly poems online here and here, and a more sensible one here. The poem below appears in the anthology Horses of a Different Colour from Dempsey & Windle.

On Monday we travelled to Surrey for the memorial service of a much-loved cousin who died over a year ago. This sonnet, written in a moment of grief and rage, was published in the anthology Locked Down from Poetry Space.

ABCD June 2021

June 27, 2021

Bron has saved me the trouble of writing most of this post! She writes:
“Yet another lovely meadow meeting of ABCD. Half of the group present: Ama, Judy, Janine, Bron, Caroline, Thalia and Jane. The weather was dry but no sun this time, so we sat in a green jungle, mostly in coats! It was very pleasant.
I described how Judith and I had bound the Book, and Jane had made a calico bag to keep it safe in. I also put it to the group to decide whether they wanted to look at it now or wait till July when more people might be present, including Judith who had a great deal to do with it, but who had also told me she didn’t mind whether we got it out this meeting or next. So there was a unanimous decision to have a look, especially as it meant that half the group will have seen it by the next meeting, leaving more time for others to also go through it. I’m not posting a photo as it is really best encountered for the first time ‘live’, so here is Jane with the mysterious bag….”

Photo by Bronwen Bradshaw

Bron and Judy have been taking an online course with the one and only Guy Begbie. Do have a look at his website.

Secret Belgian binding by Bronwen Bradshaw; French case binding by Judy Warbey
Buttonhole binding by Judy Warbey
Secret Belgian binding by Judy Warbey
Soft-cover architectural zine by Judy Warbey

The Gallery Upstairs at Upton House near Poole has been showing Judy’s intricate calligraphic interpretations of some of The English Cantos by James Sale in The Wider Circle: A Journey with Dante. “An exhibition inspired by the startling yet accessible epic poem HellWard by James Sale. With Dante as our guide we journey into hell and back, accompanied by evocative artwork by artists Linda Sale, Angela Perrett, Judith Warbey.”

Calligraphy by Judy Warbey

Caroline brought some of her travel sketchbooks and an album documenting the progress of her straw-bale house.

Turkey sketchbook by Caroline Mornement

Jane brought two of her driftwood books.

And Janine showed us some embroidered boxes.

Judith was in Shetland – she has been sending fabulous photos and I am sick with nostalgia!
She made and photographed this magnificent book “Microseasons of the Dart” before she went. One big book combining Guy Begbie techniques and Alice Fox thinking and making for winter placemaking. Loosely based on walks along the Dart.

Carol could not be with us. She has been enjoying a butterfly and moth course, found by Judith, at Halsway Manor in the Quantocks. 

I (Ama) brought the Blizzard Lockdown Book’s spine and cover, with some of our pages inserted, but didn’t think to photograph it. Next time!

Bron continues:
“And then we turned to the future…stepping out….
Caroline said she’d enjoyed the research involved in the Grand Women book and also the Tree Circle book. She had brought along a photo of a giant Teasel which had arrived in her garden, and has been looking into all things Teasel. Could we perhaps make books about plants that interested us? To which I added the idea of having an exhibition in the Tree House Library next year, and that I had originally imagined the house as a Field Study Centre, specifically for our fields here in the Butleigh East Field. A new exhibition of books about wild plants other than trees would be wonderful in respect of this. I also said that I am in talks with SAW about a Walking project for next year, i.e. guided walks round the countryside here. An exhibition at the Dove would be a great addition to this, and I’m sure other ideas would grow from this too. Amazing Space 4.
Thalia said she would like to do a book based on a place, rather like the Place Making some of us have been doing with Alice Fox. This could perhaps be married with the idea for the exhibition. More discussion needed next time.

We also agreed that the research for the Grand Women book had been fascinating too. How about we (next year as well) have an exhibition elsewhere, centering on the Grand Women book but with other books that go more in depth into social history that was revealed. For instance, I’m planning a book about the Welsh Drovers.

The next meeting is July 10th, our last Summer Meeting: it is going to be cream tea and cake!
And finally, but most importantly, Saturday was a day of celebration. Not just solstice: Nina and Mark got married! And Pat had a birthday! So congratulations to all concerned.

Our Blizzard Lockdown book is looking good but needs a couple more pages to complete it.”

Finally, what you’ve all been waiting for, the edited highlights.

June Dove Droppings


not even had any thunder
rounding up sheep
too much yellow rattle

a year and a half of survival
I lived three weeks in a cave
the beds were tombstones

Somerset cannibals
piles of skulls
fire engines with pumps

I’m interested in next year
that’s optimistic
it needs finishing

take a year
take a book for a walk
the most difficult binding on the planet

ABCD late May 2021

May 29, 2021

Last Saturday, 22nd May, was Artists’ Book Club Dove’s first in-person meeting since September last year. We have had ark-building weather recently, but by great good fortune this was a warm sunny afternoon with very little wind. We carried our chairs and picnics through knee-high buttercups in Dove Meadow to a clearing beside the Tree House (visible top right in the photo below, taken by Bron) and passed books and ideas around. What it treat it was to be together. Heartfelt thanks to Jane for giving Clare and me a lift there and back.

Kate brought a large-format single-sheet coptic-sewn collection of charcoal drawings done by young children during a school residency with a local willow basket maker acting as artists’ model. The liveliness of the drawings and the variety of artistic approaches are captivating, and some of the drawings are astonishingly sophisticated. Some are minimalist – a few expressive strokes on an otherwise empty page. Others lovingly depict every detail of the background and the man’s patterned jumper. One is quite disturbing: a tiny figure seemingly imprisoned in his basket and surrounded by the velvet blackness of charcoal. I’d be happy to have any one of these drawings on my wall.

Bron writes, ‘Here’s the book I circulated at our meeting … “Signs of Life”. My computer keeps trying to say “Sings of Life” which I rather like. The format was Guy Begbie‘s lesson on pamphlet stitch (he always surprises), and the content is an old etching plus other related bits and pieces. I really enjoyed converting my 2D prints to 3D and will do more.’

Judith arranged her paper tepees around the fire-place. They look so much like moths!
She has enrolled on this year-long course with Australian eco-printer India Flint.

Bron, Judy and Judith had been working on our book of foremothers, ‘Grand Women’, during the morning. I delivered Janine’s embroidered title; it will be recessed into the front cover. Here, Judy is in the print studio writing the title-page.

Here are some images of Judy’s sculptural book of mokuhanga prints.

I (Ama) brought my two winter books, both inspired by the Shetland webcams, currently a great place to observe puffins and pufflings.

Carol has been on Radio 4 talking about the moths that turn up in her garden moth-trap.

Clare brought her current sketchbook, rich with watercolour sketches of local wildlife. She regularly swims in the company of kingfishers and dippers.

Later we went to meet the newly planted trees being nurtured by Bron in Wild Lea – formerly a ryegrass monoculture, now a forest in the making.

… and over the stream into Whitefield, a carpet of buttercups and cowslips.

The next meeting, also outdoors, we hope, will be on 19 June.

And now for some fragments of conversation that found their way into my notebook.

Late May Dove-droppings

I’m only half-way through India
I’d rather do the washing up
if I were a reptile

in between the showers
a bit of deckle-grooming
cuckoos bitterns warblers marsh harriers

hot chocolate with a dash of brandy
hedgehog highways and rabbit lintels
your mother sounds so posh

the mothing community
clinging to the suspension bridge
a few brimstones

breeding might not happen
Julia draws eels
catch them on the way out

ABCD May 2021

May 9, 2021

Thanks to Thalia, ten of us met yesterday on Zoom, some already all but zoomed-out after a morning of mokuhanga with Robin Frood.

Bron and Judith have been on Les Bicknell’s online course, and have made bookish objects in response to ‘A place you love: no words, no images’. Here is Bron’s treehouse library book. Stripped willow wands from the trees below, khadi paper and Hedi Kyle’s piano hinge binding. A collaboration with light.

Judith placed hers in her allotment. Two are made from paper pulp, one just pasted papier mache style. Reminiscent of moths, tepees, fungi … work intimately connected to place.

Judith shared images of work done on Dave Armes’s course in low-tech printmaking, using carbon paper, corrugated cardboard and inked shapes cut from greyboard.

Bron, Jane, Carol and Judy have been on Guy Begbie‘s online workshop. Below is Bron’s book, extended, then folded.

Judy has finished making her “Hellward” sculptural book. It can be looked at from both sides with different openings.

Carol‘s book incorporates some of her insect prints.

Judy has been on another online calligraphy course, this time with Carry Wouters.

Janine showed us embroidered designs for a title panel on the cover, Kate has designed the endpapers, and Judy has been working on lettering for the title page of our collaborative book, Grand Women.
Clare showed us a delightful letter-cum-envelope (designed by Rachel Hazell) made for her by her sister, celebrating sisterhood. Thalia is busy getting ready to start teaching yoga again.

And I have been slowly working on another quilt about Park Wood in winter. Trees in cross-section, the space between them criscrossed with mycelial strands. Cotton cloth and silk thread, all dyed in a variety of botanical brews, some modified with iron-water. The circular patches are where I tied found beer-caps in. Some had rusted at the edge, giving a nice dark line. The bigger dark patches are where I tied in lumps of rusty iron from a bicycle half-buried in the wood.

We have dates for our next three meetings before the summer break: May 22nd, June 19th and July 10th. We hope thay will be in-person meetings outdoors. Finally, a collage of lines from my notes on the meeting:

May Dove-Droppings

when you dive into
paper print stitching
shall we hum

oh Clare have you got flapjacks
no it’s gingerbread
you’ve frozen

what I’ve been missing is
stepping out
smelling human beings

everything has to be planned
Kate from two angles
diluted some ink and wrote it small

it will be something else
stitched on velvet
dropped into a window

a dialogue with time
in the facsimile world
made by George Washington’s mother

the book emerges
with its own aesthetic
swearing in Cyrillic

it opens here
that comes up this falls out
a staircase in the middle

an evolving book
the red line takes you through
a secret communist workshop

Posted by Ama Bolton on 9th May.

Dangling

May 7, 2021

“A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.”

“Parking near the beach, the sun began to creep above the horizon.”

Have dangling modifiers ceased to matter? I seem to be bumping into them more frequently than ever. Perhaps I am the only one who cares. Unlike split infinitives, it’s not a matter of mere etiquette: the words do not convey the meaning the author intended.

Today’s Daily Poem from The Paris Review includes one. I heard one last week at the zoom-launch of a recently-published anthology, and read one this week in a respectable poetry blog. I recognised the otherwise excellent poem and I remembered mentioning it to the poet during a workshop. I don’t think she knew what I was talking about.

A recent issue of a long-established literary journal featured several dangling modifiers in the same long poem – a poem that had been translated by one of the editors of said literary journal.

Perhaps I’m just a grumpy old fart with nothing better to do than criticise writers more successful than I am. Who cares about dangling modifiers? Do you, dear reader? If you have light to shed, please shed it now!