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He is survived by his wife and two sons who are in the process of trying to make as much of his work available again in print or via kindle. Read his poem below to see why.
(NB: Tom's version of Mother Courage is https://www.amazon.co.uk/Courage-Children-Bertolt-Leonard-Paperback/dp/B00XDGPEFO - Amazon seems to show other versions here)
There were some who seemed to spend their lives "being a writer".
And he had spent his life not being a writer.
That way lay safety. An invisibility. A freedom.
Those he met saw him as "that writer" and would never understand that this was not how he had chosen to see himself.
He accepted their seeing him as "that writer" almost with a kind of irony.
But then he began to accept that he was a writer.
It was a matter of language and consciousness. The link between the two.
He had to choose to accept the responsibility of the outer that he had preserved from himself, that he had left to the perception of others.
For as he grew older he stood in a separate relationship to himself.
He was able to body himself conceptually as a totality.
And though he had never been a storyteller, he saw that he had been telling a story all his life.
It became important to him that somebody heard the story, now that he realised he had been telling it.
Yet all that remained to be told was that he had been telling it.
And all that remained was the need for the last understanding, the sign that someone had heard the story, and the teller was no longer necessary.
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It contains work from his two main collections Intimate Voices (Poetry 1965-83) and access to the silence (Poems 1984-2004); also poems from Being a Human Being (2006) and work not in previous books including an elegaic sequence for his mother, a prose memoir of his father, a poem-suite "on the page" and a tri-part envoi to the collection.
Pollok Poster 1 13
Six Glasgow Poems 14
The Voyeur 20
Dripping with Nostalgia 21
Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae 22
don't tell wordsworth 23
Four of the Belt 24
The Psycopath 25
The Appetite 26
Storm Damage 27
A Priest Came on at Merkland Street 28
an oxford dictionary 36
Jist ti Let Yi No 38
Tea Time 39
A Summer's Day still life with creative writing teacher 41
Yon Night 43
Feed ma Lamz 44
The Qualification 45
The Dropout 46
Makars Society 48
Moral Philosophy 51
My Parents' Living Room at Christmas 53
Fathers and Sons 54
The Rainbow Of 56
breathe deep and regular with it 61
100 Differences between Poetry and Prose 63
The Evidence 64
who wants to be free 66
your eyes 67
An Ageing Writer 68
The Performance 69
in the beginning was the word 76
from Unrelated Incidents 77
ma lungz iz fuckt 83
humpty dumpty 84
mehta physics 85
would thi prisoner 86
baa baa black sheep 87
commemorative stamp 88
yonza big wank 89
efturryd geenuz iz speel 90
right inuff 91
An Old Story 92
colorado mountain air 93
so whut day yi day wi yirsell then ih 98
yi surta 99
seen im? 100
Opting for early retirement 101
The underfunder's utopia 104
doon the close 105
Myths in These Parts106respite in the reading 107
the enemy without 108
a handy news standfor the next bombing 109
The Present Tense 110
ablative absolute 123
situations theoretical and contemporary 124
the press as bogus phatic communion 128
Blessed Trinity 132
leaning forward 133
1st Poster Poem against the criminal injustice bill 134
4 football haiku 135
a could eata hoarss 136
rest assured 137
glorious weather in a teacup 138
ahma hoarss 139
the mainstream a clerisy 140
nora's place: a Poem in 17 aspects 1
Ebook version of Tom's Leonard's first published book.
Many of the poems appear in his later books. The intention has been to copy this as accurately as possible, including any typos the original had.
11 The Other Side of the Ticket
14 Another Sunday-poem
16 Patron of the Arts
17 Epitaph on an Introvert Wit
18 Television Advertisement
19 Little Jenny's Complaint (1)
20 Little Jenny's Complaint (2)
21 The Romantic
22 Hill Street
23 The Inner Melancholy of the Poet
25 The Psychopath
26 The Remark
27 similie please / say cheese
29-36 A Priest Came On At Merkland Street
38 She sells sea-shells
40 Words, for E.
41 This Island Now
42 Soft and Strong
43 The Voyeur
47-50 The Performance
52 Perpetual Stasis
53 The Image
54 The Poetry Reading
55 Pyrrhic Victory
56 The Main Feature
57 Keep Right On
58 As Luck Would Have It
59 23rd Story
60 The Virgins
61 Storm Damage
62 I said
63 Full-frontal Astronauts
64 At the Employment Exchange
65 The Appetite
67-75 Six Glasgow Poems
76-79 Three Pollock Posters
Below is the description that been on back of the original book
Tom Leonard was born in Glasgow in 1944. He worked as a Civil Servant then as a sales assistant in a bookshop before entering Glasgow University as a student in 1967. He left two years later without completing his degree: a variety of clerical jobs followed. He currently works for the Post Office in London. He is married (and has one son).
It was during his term as a student at Glasgow University, when his poems appeared in university magazines, that his work began to draw some attention in Scotland. Poems subsequently appeared in established Scottish magazines, and samples of his work were broadcast several times on B.B.C. Radio. A local Glasgow publisher, Midnight Press, then published his "Six Glasgow Poems" and "A Priest Came on at Merkland Street", and both of these publications established the poet's reputation as one of the most talented and original young writers on the contemporary Scottish literary scene. After many readings in Glasgow and at successive Edinburgh Festivals, he was granted a literary award by the Scottish Arts Council in 1971.
A comprehensive selection of his work has been long overdue. This first "slim volume" will undoubtedly be welcome on many Scottish bookshelves; it will also, we are sure, further establish Tom Leonard's reputation beyond his native Scotland, and will provide a rewarding experience for all those throughout the British Isles who are interested in contemporary poetry.
In this chronicle of the Thirty Years War of the seventeenth century, Mother Courage follows the armies back and forth across Europe, selling provisions and liquor from her canteen wagon. As the action of the play progresses between the years 1624 and 1646 she loses her children to the war but remains indomitable, refusing to part with her livelihood - the wagon. The play is one of the most celebrated examples of Epic Theatre and of Brecht's use of alienation effect to focus attention on the issues of the play above the individual characters. It remains regarded as one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century and one of the great anti-war plays of all time. The Berlin production of 1949, with Helene Weigel as Mother Courage, marked the foundation of the Berliner Ensemble.
Translated by the celebrated, German-born translator Michael Hofmann who has won multiple awards for his translation of works from German into English, the stage production was acclaimed for his 'gutsy,colloquial translation' (The Stage).
This eBook is published by his surviving family and intended to be as close to the original paperback as possible.
Note - this is a scan of the original proof, rather than retyped, so the quality is not as good as we would like but believe is good enough. Please read the sample book before purchasing if you have any concerns.
The text below came from the original book:
The prose in this collection falls mainly into three categories: literary, topical-political and personal. They overlap. Some of the literary criticism was written when John Linklater was literary editor of the Glasgow Herald. He let me choose which books to review and, unusually for a daily paper editor, let me have complete editing control on my copy to the usual limit of about a thousand words.
I am grateful to him for the space he thus gave me to pursue some lines of thought around writers such as Browning and Clare. Several of the fuller essays were written for the Edinburgh Review when Peter Kravitz was the editor in the eighties. Here too it was liberating to have the trust of an editor granting me as it were a space when I wanted to pursue ideas and, as these things work, to try to find out in words what I believe. The prose runs from an essay of 1973 written for Scottish International to some extracts this year from the journal I have maintained on my website since 2009.
The extracts from this journal overall are arranged in three separate sections under the title “From a Room in Scotland”. The letter which follows the article “A Taboo too Far” was not composed for publication but seemed appropriate to add as its composition is referred to in the article that precedes it; and I think it may be of practical use for some. A co-dependency between mendacity and violence seems to be a recurring theme over the years, for which creativity in and through art is put as one restorative bond of integrity of purpose.
Tom Leonard Glasgow, September 2012
This is a 2019 eBook by his surviving family intended to make this lesser known work more widely available.
The full transcript of his radio play first broadcast on 12th February 1977 on Radio 4 Scotland and was first published in 1979 by Print Studio Press, though only 600 were printed.
The play satirises the Scottish literary scene of the time, a series of sketches centring on a Glasgow writer.
This is an English translation by Tom Leonard which was performed throughout the UK by Theatre Babel in 2002. It is published for the first time by his surviving family and includes notes on his translation Tom originally wrote which were first published by Edinburgh University Press in Translation and Literature, Volume 12: Issue 1, 2003, pages 155-158 https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/tal.2003.12.1.155
The text below came a flyer for the show:
Tom Leonard, past winner of the prestigious Saltire Prize and one of Scotland’s most admired poets and essayists, has been commissioned by Theatre Babel to create a new version of Uncle Vanya.
Understood to be Checkhov’s finest play, Vanya is a powerful and witty exploration of unrequited love and thwarted ambition; combining the dazzling characterization and profound understanding of human nature that marks out the work of Europe’s foremost classical dramatist.
In this chronicle of the European Thirty Years War and taking place between the years 1624 and 1636, Mother Courage follows the armies back and forth across Europe, selling provisions and liquor from her canteen wagon to whomever she can. One by one she loses her children to the war but will not part with her livelihood - the wagon. The Berlin production of 1949, with Helene Weigel as Mother Courage, marked the foundation of the Berliner Ensemble.
Considered by many to be one of the greatest anti-war plays ever written and Brecht's masterpiece, the play is a powerful example of Epic Theatre and Brecht's use of alienation
effect to focus attention not on individual characters but on the
issues of the play. This edition published in Methuen Drama's Modern Classics series offers a full introduction as well as Brecht's own notes and textual variants, setting it apart from all other editions available in the English language. The play is presented in John Willett's trusted translation.
'One of the greatest poets and dramatists of our century' (Observer).