‘ Swifts and Swallows’ The Elegancies of Mr Thomas Anson


Specifically commissioned by the composer Andrew Baker, I will reading extracts from Swifts and Swallows,my poem sequence based on the life and work of Thomas Anson, (1695-1773).

Thomas Anson’s life was a shadowy one. A man who, despite leaving a remarkable architectural and botanical legacy, has managed to remain hidden.

Swifts and Swallowsis a hybrid poem: that is to say it is part realistic, part allegorical and part historical. Set in Thomas’ own life time, the writing takes us away from the shifting crowds of 18th century city life to the rural landscapes of Shugborough, Staffordshire.

My poem suggests the possibility that Anson’s secretiveness was the result of a man caught up in a constant struggle with his own inventiveness: artistically restless, he may have an 18th century ‘inbetweener’.

The ‘strange medley ‘ of voices that inhabit Swifts and Swallowsare friendly ones who acknowledge the wit, inventiveness…

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