Cliff Fell

Cliff Fell lives on a small farm near Motueka, in the upper South Island. An acrostic/poem of 156 lines, ‘The Good Husbandwoman’s Alphabet’, illustrated by Fiona Johnstone, is due from Last Leaf Press in March 2014.

Fell comments: ‘The poem “Chagall in Vitebsk” is partly based on notes scrawled during a cinema viewing of Chagall, the 1963 short documentary directed by Lauro Venturi. The final stanza refers to Chagall’s early painting, “The Poet Reclining”, from the sequence known as “Scenes from Vitebsk”. The painting, images of which can be found on the internet, entranced me when I first came across it in the Tate Modern, in 1970, aged 15, and—probably for the enigmatic insouciance of the subject-matter—set me firm in my youthful resolve that poetry was the only career worth pursuing.’

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