Thursday 1 February 2024

Blake Morrison, "Never the Right Time"


Blake Morrison was born in Yorkshire and was formerly literary editor of the Observer and the Independent on Sunday. His publications include two bestselling memoirs, And When Did You Last See Your Father? and Things My Mother Never Told Me; the poetry collections Dark Glasses, The Ballad of the Yorkshire Ripper and Shingle Street; and four novels, including The Last Weekend and The Executor. He has won various awards, including the Eric Gregory, EM Forster and JR Ackerley prizes. His latest memoir, Two Sisters, came out last year along with the poetry pamphlets Skin & Blister and Never the Right Time. He was Professor of Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths University from 2003-2023. 

About Never the Right Time
In earlier poetry collections, Blake Morrison has broached some difficult and occasionally violent subject matter: the serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, the Pendle witch trials, Cold War espionage, the loss of his younger sister. In this pamphlet the mood is gentler. There's a sense of passing time or 'timefulness' - of fading memories, missed chances and the coming of age (and beyond it the only end of age). But the tone isn't mournful - humour and irony are never far away.

Never the Right Time is published by New Walk Editions, which is co-edited by University of Leicester Associate Professor of American Literature and Creative Writing, Nick Everett

From Never the Right Time, by Blake Morrison

Never the Right Time

Remember the flat you sold
after the market crashed. 

Or the job you took, on a whim, 
giving up one you enjoyed. 

Or your "I love you,"
too slow a follow-up to theirs. 

Or the pregnancy
neither of you planned. 

Or the painting you liked,
red-stickered when you went back. 

Death will be the same, 
early, late, never the right time. 


The waves bloom white against the rockface
or swamp the beach in bridal lace. 
It's the timelessness you come for,
afraid your own is running out. 

Timeful: there's a word you never hear.
It helps to be oblivious to oblivion
but you face it every night that you can't sleep.

Then it's dawn and the forgetting resumes.
Here you are, on the balcony,
the sea surrounding you,
the sun with its armful of light. 

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