In a moment of madness Poet-in-Residence, perhaps influenced by the Irish Times blurb which speaks of incontestable weight and majesty Poet-in-Residence parted with a penny short of nine pounds for a volume of poems running to 76 pages, or 20 sheets of trimmed A4 paper.
So what's on these 20 sheets of paper that makes them worth nearly 50 pence a sheet? The book that Poet-in-Residence has before him is 'District and Circle' (faber and faber) by Seamus Heaney.
The first poem in the book is 'The Turnip Snedder'. It is a poem of 20 lines. The 20 lines are laid out in couplets and use up 2 pages in the book. But worse is yet to come. [at this point in the original post there came a lot of mathematics which P-i-R believed to be incorrect - he couldn't believe his own sums! But on checking it seems that 'District and Circle' does run out at a hefty and majestic 12 pence a page. It really does! We've come a very long way pricewise since James Joyce's 'Pomes a Penny Each']
The poem 'In a Loaning' consists of a mere 4 lines of text. It has a whole 12 pence page to itself. No wonder it speaks of -deep coffers.
In a Loaning
Spoken for in autumn, recovered speech
Having its way again, I gave a cry:
'Not beechen green, but these shin-deep coffers
Of copper-fired leaves, these beech holes grey.'
Another poem 'A Hagging Match' consists of 20 words including the title. It has a whole page to itself. It is a six-line poem.
In the book's 'Notes and Acknowledgements' Poet-in-Residence sees that more than 20 of the poems have appeared elsewhere. He has the feeling that he has been duly shoved through 'The Turnip Snedder',-
and turnip-heads were let fall and fed
to the juiced-up inner blades