Archive for the ‘R J Dent’s poetry’ Category

No Echoes by R J Dent

August 4, 2016

Villa Anamaria is an ornate Art Nouveau-style villa in Pefkos, on the Greek island of Rhodes. It is at the end of a beach road overlooking Askeftos Bay. The villa used to belong to Pink Floyd guitarist, David Gilmour, who sold it to an Italian couple several years ago.


Villa Anamarie 1990

Villa Anamaria 1990


On Pefkos maps, Villa Anamaria is still referred to as the ‘Pink Floyd Villa’.

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It has been on the market for nearly five years, and is currently valued at 1.1 million Euros. So far, no one has offered to buy it, and Villa Anamaria is gradually beginning to look like an unloved, derelict building.


No Echoes


Once, Villa Anamaria, an ornate house

above a rocky, remote Rhodian bay,

was neat, discrete, resplendent in hot sun,

with turquoise wrought-iron gates and walled garden,

olive tree-lined stone drive and marbled paths

that led to subtly-arranged glades of shade,

past Grecian urns, manicured lawns, statues.


Now, just a millionaire’s discarded toy,

empty, abandoned, unwanted, disowned,

no echoes of the distant past resound

or sound in rooms now empty but for dust.

Silence, shutters askew, sun-faded walls,

cracked paving, overgrown groves, creeping weeds,

an empty swimming pool, lawns gone to seed.



Villa Anamarie 2016

Villa Anamaria 2016


No Echoes

by R J Dent


Copyright © R J Dent (2016)


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Vladimir Nabokov’s Lilith, translated by R J Dent

June 26, 2016





I died. The sycamores gave shade;

shutters were shut upon the dust

of the hot streets steamily teased

by the torrid Aeolus.


I slowly walked, and the fauns walked;

It seemed as though I recognised

the great god Pan in every faun.

Good. I must be in Paradise.


Shielding her face against the sun,

there stood a naked, slender girl;

her honeyed skin attracted me;

lilies were threaded in her curls.


She had the grace of a woman.

I watched her small nipples harden

and I recalled a sweet springtime

in another new-grown garden,


when through the trees by the river,

I had one time watched, emboldened,

the miller’s youngest daughter step

out of the water, lithe, golden,


with a damp wisp between her legs.

And now, still wearing the coat

I had on when murdered last night,

with a rake’s predatory gloat,


I advanced upon my Lilith.

She stared at me with her green eyes,

until my clothes burst into flame

and burnt to ashes in a trice.


In the room behind her I saw

a Greek divan, a spread-out shawl,

a table, pomegranates, wine;

some erotic art covering the wall.


With two fingers she shamelessly

took hold of my hot member’s head

with unselfconscious, childish glee.

“Now come along with me,” she said.


Without inducement or effort,

but slowly to extend delight,

like wings, she gradually opened

her soft sweet brown thighs to my sight.


How enticing, how inviting,

her moist pink rose! And with a wild

cry, she fell on my throbbing length,

slicker than that remembered child.


Snake in snake, vessel in vessel,

smooth-fitting parts, I moved in her

through ascending rhythms, feeling

unendurable pleasure stir.


But suddenly she flinched, and pushed

me off her, moved fast, stood over

me, grasped the shawl and twisted it

around her waist and up, covered


and strong again; with me about

to come, to spend, for me, nothing

left. A strange wind made me stagger.

I ran to the door. “Let me in!”


I shouted, noticing with horror,

that I stood outside in the dust

where loudly-yelling youngsters

were staring at my engorged lust.


“Let me come in!” And the goat-hoofed

crowd increased. “Quick, let me come in!”

“I am about to come…” I yelled.


The door stayed shut, the crowd watched, quiet,

as I spurted out my semen.

I knew then that I was in hell.





by Vladimir Nabokov













Translated into English by R J Dent

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)




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Opus by R J Dent

April 10, 2016



You can read everything written by the great ones

          and commit their words to memory –

Use a secret alphabet that only a select few

          will recognise as their own –

Set fire to your hands and searingly etch

          your lines onto the communal retina –

Sail through the catacombs of the subconscious

          in a Viking longship and fetch

          back bales of treasure for your people

          – whoever they might be –

Scan the proverbs tattooed deep on the walls

          of a magpie’s heart, knowing

          they are written in experience’s ink –

Unwind spools of useless magnetic tape

          and let them play in streamers

          on the warm south wind –

Chisel out faces in an obsidian wall,

          gag them to stop them screaming,

          but always give them water once a week –

Give the dead child within you a decent burial,

          then perform an elaborate ritual

          so that it returns to life – Read more…



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Huitzilopochtli’s Dying Thoughts by R J Dent

August 29, 2014




Huitzilopochtli’s Dying Thoughts



I’ve got the Tamanaco and Paris

and the bright scarlet splash of Mexico’s

flowers and life and death in my blood-stream


My ice sculpture now wears a sugared skull

and stares at me with melting ibis eyes

from its nest of fading rainbow fragments


And by the waterfall, the hummingbirds

fly in reverse, sip calico nectar

and ignore the cocooned African moon moths


I shake the plateau with my screech owl’s scream;

at my groan, ghost orchid stems snap and fall

(they’ll end up lining some young osprey’s nest)


As I die, ice melts and waterfalls stop.

I’ll return to earth as a butterfly,

or as an eagle – I don’t mind which…



© R J Dent (2014)



Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil translated by R J Dent

October 7, 2013


Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire














Charles Baudelaire’s seminal classic, The Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du Mal) is now available in R J Dent’s modern English translation:














R J Dent discusses his translation of Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil:



R J Dent reads ‘I give you these verses…’ from his translation of Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil:



A promotional book trailer for R J Dent’s modern English translation of Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil:




R J Dent’s translation of The Flowers of Evil is available from the University of Chicago Press:

and from Amazon:


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R J Dent reads from the Poems & Fragments of Alcaeus

October 2, 2013


To be weighed down…


The North wind…


The whole cargo…


R J Dent on Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments


Book trailer for Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments


Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments

Translated into modern English by R J Dent

Published by Circaidy Gregory Press:

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Alcaeus in Santorini

February 11, 2013

Alcaeus on a shelf, Atlantis Books, Santorini

Copies of the Poems & Fragments of Alcaeus, translated into English by the poet and novelist R J Dent, and published by Circaidy Gregory Press, are now available to buy at Atlantis Books in Santorini.


Atlantis Books is a truly amazing bookshop. It’s on the Main Marble Road in Oia, Santorini. Inside, it’s a bibliophile’s treasure-trove.

Atlantis_books 1

Alcaeus’s Poems & Fragments has made its way across the world and onto a shelf of Greek poetry and literature in Atlantis Books. It’s almost as though Alcaeus has gone home.

alcaeus in santorini 3

Here’s Alcaeus alongside Philip Sherrard, Dionysios Solōmos, Arthur Machen, Homer, and other distinguished Greek and Anglo-Greek authors and scholars.

alcaeus in santorini 1

Atlantis Books in Oia, Santorini, is one of the bibliophile wonders of the world. There is no other bookshop quite like it.

atlantis books 1


It’s fitting that Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments is now available to lovers of Greek poetry and Greek literature – on a Greek island as beautiful as Santorini, and in a bookshop as unique as Atlantis Books.

Alcaeus front cover Atlantis Books, Santorini

Alcaeus back cover Atlantis Books, Santorini

Atlantis Books, Main Marble Road, Oia, Santorini, Cyclades, Greece.



Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments, translated into English by R J Dent.



Circaidy Gregory Press, Hastings, Sussex, UK.


R J Dent


rjdent logo


January 19, 2013

by R J Dent


– tessellated flit – scatter – tatters – sonic yip – pitch – swerve turn dip – panic flap – zodiac – eye – high – fly – loop – swoop – flap – skitter – spin – black – zip thither – slip – weather – breeze – night – cloud – feed – flight – fast – faint light – retreat – crawl – claws – squawk – clamber – chamber – spider wing – shrill – echo ear – fear – echoing – ermine – vermin – fur huddle – warmth – puddle – rustle – bustle – tightness – inverted world – squeaks – wings curl – furl – sleeps –


© R J Dent (2005)


Bat was first published in Earth Love.


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Credit Where Credit’s Due by R J Dent

May 15, 2012

 R J Dent’s article on plagiarism – based on a real incident.



Plagiarism may be a dirty word, but there’s always someone ready to steal it…

(Note: The names of the musicians, groups and albums in this article have been changed in order to avoid anyone being libeled.)

It’s every writer’s dream: the brilliant and famous singer of the world’s greatest group gets in touch with you and says: “We’re writing a new album, so can you help us with the lyrics?” You’ve started to make a bit of a name for yourself with your writing, so you graciously accept the offer, and within a year you are fully valued, recognized and rewarded (artistically, philosophically, spiritually, socially and financially) for your ability to write perfect and succinct lyrics on important subjects.

That’s the summary of a dream of many aspiring poets/lyricists.

That’s nothing like the version that happened to me.

First of all, it wasn’t anywhere grand, like backstage at the O2 Arena, Earl’s Court, or even the MAN for that matter. No, this was an introduction by a friend in a café. Read more...


R J Dent says: ‘Credit Where Credit’s Due is a cautionary tale, based on a real event.’

Credit Where Credit’s Due was recently published in Writer’s Muse.



Credit Where Credit’s Due

Copyright © R J Dent (2010 & 2016)


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The House of Asterion by R J Dent

May 1, 2011

The House of Asterion



Walk through the coolness of my ancient house;

reflect on how I’ll be the death of it

one day. We are not one; each of us is sought out

for what we can – uniquely – give the world.


Such obvious wealth assaults the more refined.

The plane trees do not deflect the sea-spray

that lashes the courtyards; that stings my eyes,

extinguishing the sights that were on fire…


My patience is a thread at breaking point…

I rule my lands with velvet-covered fists.

I’m going to kill the chosen one and leave

the bones strewn as a sign of what’s to come…





The House of Asterion

© R J Dent (2011)