FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Only 1 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Permission to Breathe has been added to your Basket
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Permission to Breathe Paperback – 23 Apr 2004

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, 23 Apr 2004
"Please retry"
£3.43 £6.10

Trade In Promotion

Free One-Day Delivery for six months with Amazon Student

Product details

  • Paperback: 68 pages
  • Publisher: Smith/Doorstop Books; First Edition edition (23 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902382617
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902382616
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.8 x 1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,430,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


He displays originality of thought and quality of execution -- Robert Potts, The Guardian

He displays originality of thought and quality of execution. -- Robert Potts, The Guardian, January 2000

Unflinching, subtle, clear, emotionally precise, uncensored, touching, occasionally erotic, particular, these are very, very good poems. -- Craig Raine

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Machine

In the daytime it lived on the window ledge
at the end of the kitchen, plugged in
beside the dark brown two pint jug
he kept topped up. After taking his pills
each morning while he waited for her
to come down for breakfast he tipped
the night’s ropy mixture of mucus
and water down the sink and rinsed
the tank and the clear plastic tubing
under the hot tap intently,
scoured the nozzle with a fine bottle-brush.

For four years he nursed it, monitored
its puttering engine. Unflinching
he sucked up the phlegm bubbling out
at her stoma, he smiled as he caught it,
he passed her a Kleenex, the ointment.
For four years he stayed alive
and breathed for her. She was my mother
and he – remember it, remember
how I even corrected the Registrar
of Births and Deaths, put her right
punctiliously when she called him my father.

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet.
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Look for similar items by category