Snow About To Fall

John Barlow

Snow About To Fall

64 pages
198 mm x 129 mm / 7¾" x 5⅛"
ISBN 978-1-903543-09-2

Praise for Snow About To Fall

‘The fresh, resonant poems in John Barlow’s Snow About To Fall are the finely crafted works of a poet at the top of his form—arguably the best and most fully realized, poignant, accomplished tanka poet writing today in the UK. Barlow’s powerful contemporary voice brings the ancient traditions of the tanka comprehensively into the modern world, and to our great gain lets us “sing / our own song” at a time in our literature that is most ready for a resurgence in the high art of the short lyric.’
—Michael McClintock
President, Tanka Society of America

‘The 55 tanka poems in Snow About To Fall explore the classical tanka themes of love, loneliness and longing. In this way they inherit a tradition from the poetry of ancient Japan, 1000 years and more ago. At the same time they express a kind of nostalgia for the present, or the very recent past: the seaside café, fruit machines, late-night television. And in another way they are timeless, exploring the ebb and flow of love against a background of enduring images: the seashore, country lanes, the hills and mountains. Above all, they are deeply felt, with the power to deepen our own feelings—of love lost and love fulfilled—as we read.’
—Martin Lucas
Editor, Presence

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sitting alone
in the seaside café
my apple pie
arrives with an extra squirt
of imitation cream

coming to bed
I watch you sleeping
in the last light
of the candle
you lit for me

something missing
this warm autumn morning
a feeling
I've carried with me
all these years


‘John Barlow is one of a handful of writers who help to verify tanka’s place in modern English literature. His subjects and the voice that carries them are contemporary, fresh and lyrical.’
Modern English Tanka

‘Poetry one will want to read again and again.’
Simply Haiku