Recent Puritan author Peter Norman had this to say about his poems from Issue XX:

I read that when the young Auden sent poems to Christopher Isherwood, many of them were sent back with a comment to the effect that “I liked this line and that line, but the whole thing’s not good.” Later, Auden would send “new” poems that were basically mash-ups of the favoured lines from rejected poems, thrown together with little care for sense or cohesion. That’s how Isherwood described them, anyway.

I thought I’d try the same thing. I had a file on my computer of abandoned poems, weak poems, lines around which poems had failed to coalesce, etc. I took the bits that I liked and strung them together, and the result was “Twenty Fugitives.”

“The Habit” is about something I do in real life: wreck my hands with my teeth. I have no idea why I have this particular nervous habit, but the results are hideous.

Auden and Isherwood

Read Peter Norman’s poems “Twenty Fugitives” and “The Habit” in Issue XX: Winter 2013 of The Puritan.

Peter Norman’s first poetry collection, At the Gates of the Theme Park (Mansfield Press, 2010), was a finalist for the Trillium Poetry Book Award. His second, Water Damage, was released by Mansfield Press in March 2013. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets and two editions of The Best Canadian Poetry in English.

Leave a Reply