So I Looked Down to Camelot
Author: Rosamund Stanhope
Publisher: Flood Editions (2020)
First published in 1962, So I Looked Down to Camelot is the striking debut collection by the English poet Rosamund Stanhope (1919–2005). As Graham Foust suggests in his afterword to this edition, these poems offer "seemingly endless satisfactions and surprises," at once lyrical, vivid, and mercurial.
"Rare is the poet who makes us see the visible world anew, but rarer still is she who uses her 'lace intelligence' to bend familiar English into a foreign tongue. Reading this astonishing book I fell in love with poetry again, which is, at its best, a 'difficult love.' Stanhope's poems clock the personhood of time, abstract the world, and concretize the mind. While reading I thought of Dickinson and Schuyler, I thought of H. D., of Blake and Coleridge, yet Stanhope is unique. Her poems give evidence (just in time) that though we be 'headcuffed in the gaol of day,' an 'unaccustomed thought' can still 'slip out of the galaxy.'"