Musicians have apparent

Lack of conversation

Concerning all but



They rarely mention hardship

Eternally apprenticed

To Art with scant reward


They remain politely unimpressed

By fame-and-fortune merchants

The media feed an unreflective public


But if your part is ‘clean’

Meaning you articulate

A passage with due weight


And if you lend true feeling to each note

Then someone gives a nod

As if to say ‘O.K.’



…Sometime later






Concerning Chet Baker my lips are sealed

By a calm vermillion glowing coal

At the centre of a snowball   –

This was his sound   –   his soul


A snowflake turning to a flame mid-air

A cool conduit concluding

In a candlelit basilica   –


The groove above our upper lip

A fingertip impresses before birth

Advises silence on our true abode   –


‘Hush   this is the world

Which shall pass

Though music last’   –


To contemplate at lowered microphone

A whispered existential question mark

That bends his reputation to a stance


Of spretzatura understated cool   –

Articulation of the difficult

Without personal bravura










Bernard Saint






About the Author


‘He is a neo-classical undeceivable poet. These poems stay with you’                                                     *                  Grey Gowrie, former Chair Arts Council England

‘A fine intelligent eye for the parallels of Ancient Rome and the Modern City’                                                                                                                                     *                  Alan Brownjohn, former Chair The Poetry Society

‘An elegant evocation of Rome’s paradoxical past and present, anchored by the figure of Marcus Aurelius’       *     Elspeth Barker novelist, journalist, broadcaster                                            


Born 1950 into a rural working-class family, his poetry first appeared in U.K. and U.S.A. magazines and journals from 1964 onwards. Both a literary and performance poet with many public readings and some BBC radio in the 60s and 70s ‘British Poetry Renaissance’; these saw him often in the company of earlier generations of poets including John Heath-Stubbs and Anne Beresford, in whom he found greater affinity. Tambimuttu, the editor of Poetry London in the 40s and resurgent 70s, noted favourable comparisons in his work with Keith Douglas.

In a long career of readings he has variously performed under the aegis of ‘New Departures’, ‘The Poetry Society’, ‘Aquarius’, ‘Angels of Fire’, The Cambridge International Poetry Festival, The Aldeburgh, and The William Alwyn Festivals, and, locally, ‘Ouse Muse’.      

He has taught at Antioch and Johns Hopkins Colleges (U.S.A.) in their London and Oxford summer schools, but preferred inner-city work as an I.L.E.A. special needs tutor in psychiatric hospital settings.

He trained in the Jungian approach to Arts Therapies for groups and individuals, working in N.H.S. Psychiatry and in The Robert Smith Alcohol Unit, in both settings as practitioner, supervisor, and also in private practice.

Main Poetry Publications:

                          Testament of the Compass (Burns & Oates 1979)

                          Illuminati (Greville Press 2011)

                          Roma (Smokestack Books 2016)

                         Saturae & Satire – poems of John Heath-Stubbs (Ed.) (Greville Press 2016) 

                         Welcome Back to the Studio (Cassette only) (Lyrenote 1988) 

Some Anthology Inclusions:     Poems of Science (Penguin 1984),

                                                   Transformation (Rivelin Grapheme 1988)


                            ON ‘ROMA’

Alan Morrison reviewing at length in The Recusant ..

‘An ingenious polemical comment on contemporary narcissism and celebrity anti-culture through the prism of Roman philosophy….’

‘Saint resuscitates the First Century ethical sagaciousness of Marcus Aurelius as a template from which to deconstruct the materialistic sham of Twenty-First Century Western Society….’

‘One detects the often gossipy and quotidian tone of Catullus and Cato but also the elegiac school of Roman love poetry of the likes of Ovid and Propertius….’



His latest major book was ‘ROMA’ from Smokestack Books 2016








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