PF detail from Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Beach Scene, Guernsey (Children by the Sea in Guernsey) - 1883;


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Last updated:
May 2009


Leslie Tate's writing adapts elements of his life. Living near London, teaching English to Asylum Seekers and university students, admirer of Lowell, Berryman, Joyce, Woolf and Marilynne Robinson, he is the partner of Sue Hampton, children's novelist. His wild 60s rebellion, seen as the first steps towards self-awareness, is the theme of his poetic, character-led novel Aphrodite's Children, published by Pegasus. Believing in passionate complexity, he writes from the head and the heart about love, authenticity, generational change and matters of soul.


Selected from four poems which appear as the postscript to Aphrodite's Children: 
Encounter (Slight Return)
His books came with him
as he paced barefoot between arguments,
corner to corner, cramming his replies.
Birkin and Ursula. The Father.
The prophecies of Blake.
Late night, smoking, sprawled across the rug
he considered Anna O. Libido.
The Wolf Man. The censor.
And the rough-cut jigsaw cracks in plaster
concealed beneath the cove.
His bathroom stare was Artaud ─ cruel-eyed
and absolute when studying up his part ─
a heart of darkness in clear cold glass.
His temper (not his own) lurked unspoken
behind a poster of Che which he’d centred,
like a Tiepolo, high above his bed.
There, Bosch-like in darkness, naked,
uncurtained, all night restless,
tangled in linen and retreated to the wall,
he braced, like Gregor, hard against thought
for fear of metamorphosis.

Ancient Art Pompeii