Don Coles

Don Coles lives in Toronto. Someone Has Stayed in Stockholm: New and Selected Poems was published by Arc in 1995. His collection Kurgan was published in 2000.


Speedy on the Draw

8 November 2012

Will Self is surely right about Northrop Frye’s speed on the draw (LRB, 8 November). Frye, who lectured at me during five years of English studies fifty years ago, came second in a speed-typing competition in Chicago at the age of 17 or so. Along with his contemporary Marshall McLuhan he was so good at everything he touched or uttered (the two of them made a brilliant double-act, outclassing anyone...

The Shudder

13 May 2010

My expectations of pieces by Frank Kermode are, by now, such that when one comes along on any contents page it’s the first I turn to. I think, though, that ‘Eliot and the Shudder’ (LRB, 10 June) merits more than my private appreciation.What I tend to do when I find myself enjoying an article to the point that I decide it will join an uncounted but plentiful number of other pieces in the several...

Poem: ‘Places’

Don Coles, 17 December 2009

I was sitting in a booth in the Copenhagen Student Union’s Café reading Art Buchwald’s column in the Paris edition Of the Herald Tribune when a careful voice coming from Just above the partition asked: ‘Could you tell me the time, Please?’ This was about forty years ago when I was not as Ramshackle as I am now and was wearing a watch, which I no longer seem to...


Tennis Lessons

1 July 1999

Edward Said (LRB, 1 July) is entirely justified in complaining about the unbridgeable gulf that now exists between even a decent amateur player and a professional, a gulf which, although it certainly existed back in faux-amateur days, could at least be stared across and once in a while, for a couple of hours, jumped over. In some inexact year of the early Twenties, before my time though not much before,...

Poem: ‘Kingdom’

Don Coles, 5 March 1998

Around six, six-thirty these late winter days I’m usually walking home across Lawrence fields, couple of blocks from here. Make a point of checking on the rink, the afternoon hockey guys finished now and the last light fading off it, though you can easily spot the gone-silent sprayed brakings and prodigal wheelings incised on the glow. I like it best when the Zamboni’s out there...

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