"Bielby has enriched English poetry throughout his life-long attention to the art. Plums has the hallmarks of his craft in its studied formal assurance, its wide-ranging consciousness and its deep historical knowledge..." - Jefferson Holdridge
Many of Nicholas Bielby’s poems are among the finest being written today… Each poem is more than its subject, each is a work of art in which the elements of life and language have undergone, like a chemical reaction, a transformation into something rich and strange.
- Anne Stevenson
The pleasures (his) poems offer the reader are quiet, subtle and substantial, and all the more real and lasting for their innate honesty and modesty before their subjects.
- Dick Davis
Bielby has enriched English poetry throughout his life-long attention to the art. Plums has the hallmarks of his craft in its studied formal assurance, its wide-ranging consciousness and its deep historical knowledge... Throughout the poems, there is a well of sympathy for humanity’s Job-like capacity to endure. This sympathy is felt in poems both personal and philosophical, but linked to ageing now in ways that are profoundly moving.
- Jefferson Holdridge
Down from the Hornisgrinde
A spring by the track with its stone spout
gushes inexhaustibly, cold and clear,
into a basin, overspilling it;
babbles endlessly in that stone ear.
From how many pines dripping rain, through what
mosses seeping, what fissures, what rock-seam
interstices of the mountain’s secret heart,
pours out here a single constant stream?
The dark mouth, from dark beginnings, speaks
one pure thing constantly, to reappear
in light that scatters diamond as it breaks
its silence in the mountain’s sleeping ear.
I kneel down, cup my mouth, sip where it glistens,
silent for a moment as the black forest listens.
Halfway across the bridge, between 'come from'
and ‘going to’, I stop – I always do -
and gaze down into the flowing stream,
observing how the pressure waves that bow
around the cutwater describe smooth curves
that must be mathematical; and how
the stony bottom throws up standing waves;
how strings of algae snake within the flow.
And then I look for fish, the slim torpedoes of
the trout, holding their own against the stream -
one flashes silver, then, quietly suave,
maintains its new position in the swim
with no more than a wafting of its tail...
till ‘got to’ pulls me away against my will.
© 2022 Nicholas Bielby