The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

April 11, 2007

"Oh I Am Not Afraid Of You"

James Fenton proves my personal theory that poets are far more interesting than the average person. For proof, let me refer you to the column he writes for The Guardian titled 'Things That Have Interested Me, which touches on all manner of things, including (but not limited to) prision tattoos, polenta, washing corpses, and Madame Butterfly.

Fenton's poem 'Jerusalem,' which he recorded at FSG's 50th anniversary party in 1996, is far more interesting than the average poem as well. I'd really recommend reading the text along with this audio--there's a facinating rhyme scheme at work in the poem, which is so well folded into the poem that I had to listen to the reading a couple times to pick up on it. It's not one I'm familiar with--does anyone have a name for a rhyme scheme that goes (to me): a a b c c b d d?

Listen to the audio below, or you can download the poem here.


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