In Couplets


Andrew Staniland’s In Couplets is a sequence of poems in long, stepped couplets. It starts in London in the autumn of 2020, in lockdown from the Covid pandemic, with protests in Belarus and war in Nagorno-Karabakh. It continues through 2021, with a summer of floods and fires and the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, and ends in the spring of 2022, with Russia’s assault on Ukraine. There is also a set of ten English ghazals and two series of aphorisms, one prompted by Babur’s Baburnama, the other by Sa’di’s Gulistan.

12 Ghazals By Alisher Navoiy, 14 Poems By Abdulhamid Cho’lpon


12 Ghazals By Alisher Navoiy, 14 Poems By Abdulhamid Cho’lpon is a selection of English translations of poems by the fifteenth century poet Alisher Navoiy, Uzbekistan’s adopted national poet and the greatest poet in the old Turkic language Chagatai, and the twentieth century poet Abdulhamid Cho’lpon, the greatest poet in modern Uzbek. The English versions are by the English poet Andrew Staniland, with the help of Uzbek translators Aidakhon Bumatova and Avazkhon Khaydarov.

A New Diwan (h/t Alisher Navoiy)

Andrew Staniland’s A New Diwan (h/t Alisher Navoiy) is a sequence of 84 short poems, written in long, stepped couplets and inspired by the fifteenth century poet, as well as by Uzbekistan’s Silk Road cities, its literature and landscapes. It is a contemplative, non-narrative sequence, to be read a few poems at a time.

A Georgian Anthology

Andrew Staniland’s A Georgian Anthology is a sequence of poems inspired by the classical myths about Prometheus and Colchis, by Georgia’s own mythology and history, by its poetry, especially Shota Rustaveli’s The Knight In The Panther Skin, and by the beauty of the Georgian landscape, with its castles, towers, monasteries and the mountains of the Caucasus.

Letters Of Introduction (2018)

Andrew Staniland’s Letters Of Introduction (2018) includes a series of odes, four Sonnets On Public Life and a series of Three-Line Variations that are an English lyrical equivalent of haiku. There are poems about post-truth politics and #MeToo, as well as poems about Armenia, written before the April 2018 revolution, including a sequence, Thirty-Nine Letters, that has a poem for each letter of the Armenian alphabet.

Playful Poems (2016)

Andrew Staniland’s Playful Poems (2016) is a sequence of over a hundred short poems written between March 2015 and August 2016 and prompted by reading most of Shakespeare’s plays in their likely chronological order. There are poems about the wars in Ukraine and Syria, refugees, dictators, nationalism and Brexit, as well as The lovely wood of piebald light/That any English poem is.

Rhapsodies (2014)

Andrew Staniland’s Rhapsodies (2014) takes its title from the verse form of the two long poems at its centre, Rhapsody and Corona Lumina, written in long rhyming couplets. The same verse form is used for a poem about the Ukrainian musicians Dakh Daughters and Valentin Silvestrov. There are translations from Russian and Ukrainian, a tribute to Seamus Heaney and a sequence of short poems about an album by the French singer-songwriter Amélie-les-crayons.

The Perennial Poetry (2010)

Andrew Staniland’s The Perennial Poetry (2010) is a collection of contemporary English Romantic poetry written in classical metre. There are poems about spiritual experience, creativity, love and poetry itself. The subjects include contemporary films and paintings, Chartres cathedral and the war in Afghanistan, a trip to Tallinn and writing a themed poem for a poetry competition. There are odes and sonnets, including translations of French, Spanish, Italian and German sonnets.

Two Story Poems (2009)

Andrew Staniland’s Two Story Poems (2009) are original stories in classical verse. A Human Disguise is a spiritual comedy set in ancient India. A minor god takes on human form to hide from a demon who is chasing him. Compassion is a ghost story set in medieval Japan. A samurai gains a supernatural power that is too terrible for him to use.

Hymns, Films And Sonnetinas (2007)

Andrew Staniland’s Hymns, Films And Sonnetinas (2007) are written in classical metre, in the romantic tradition of English poetry. They include Five Hymns (dedicated to five gods and goddesses representing different elements of contemporary culture and spirituality), Twelve Films By Eric RohmerAn Older Actress (a narrative poem in alexandrine couplets about a French actress and her film career), William Blake And The Eighteenth Century New Age and Sonnetinas (a miscellaneous sequence of sonnet-like miniatures).

New Poems (2006)

The poems in Andrew Staniland’s New Poems (2006) are poems about contemporary spiritual experience, written in classical metre, in the romantic tradition of English poetry. They include a series of odes and a sequence of short poems which give the collection its title.

The Beauty Of Psyche (2005)

Andrew Staniland’s prose-poem novel The Beauty Of Psyche (2005) is a retelling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche as a novel about imagination. The characters are played by actors, against a backdrop of paintings, models and sets. The story at times becomes a series of paintings and sculptures in an exhibition. And the references to people, films, theatre and other myths may or may not be imaginary too.

The Weight Of Light (2004)

Andrew Staniland’s prose-poem novel The Weight Of Light (2004) is a lyrical description of the inner life and spiritual practice of Delphine, a Frenchwoman living in London. It is set entirely in her apartment, like a camera recording the poetry of her daily life, her meditations and spiritual experiences. It is a “new spirituality” novel that is both literary and an honest description of a contemporary spiritual life.

Three Cine-Poems (1997)

The three cine-poems collected here use classical blank verse and contemporary cinematic narrative techniques to tell their stories.

White Russian (1995) is a lyrical description of a young Russian woman’s life in London.

A Child Of God (1996) is a comic study of a New Age guru and his small band of devotees.

A European Master (1997) is a debate about contemporary aesthetic values between a French actress and an East European film director.

Poems (1982-2004)

This is a collection of Andrew Staniland’s poems from 1982 to 2004. Some are written in free verse, some in metric verse. They are in the romantic tradition of English poetry and explore contemporary spiritual and psychotherapeutic experience.

Four Plays (1994)

The Temple Of The Goddess (1992) is a verse tragedy set in pre-classical Greece. A matriarchal bronze age state is invaded by a patriarchal iron age army.

The Playwright (1993) is a drama about resurgent nationalism in post-communist Eastern Europe.

Mornings In The Life Of A Theatre Critic (1993) is a London theatre comedy.

The Valley Of Stones (1994) is a tragedy of survival and defiance in a refugee camp.

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