1. The arts programme of community radio station Huddersfield FM - the interview was transmitted on June 14th 1992.

2. Source: Andrew Darlington review of C232 in Ludds Mill no 15.

3. Brain Tawn notes in Hawkfan no 23 that Calvert poems appeared in Oyster, Pentameters Anthology and White Trash, and were read on Granada TV and on Radio London - Julie Burchill in Calvert interview in New Musical Express 27/10/77 implies that his "Idi Amin" verse had appeared in NME 9/7/77.

4. Source: David Jones.

5. Posthumous reprintings include two by Hawkzine, as a special issue, no 3, and again in 1996 as another special issue, no 44, "an alternative version... with a full German translation." The text, a purported log of a starship's voyage through space, time and alternative universes, mixes prose, prose-poem, and poem material. Day 2's entry begins with "In the Tenth Second of Forever", here titled "Countdown To Liftoff". Day 4 includes, laid out as prose, slightly variant versions of "The Awakening" and "Ragworm". "Starfarer's Despatch" appears in Day 5's entry. Short poems and lyrics not included in C232 are also embedded in the Log, which fascinatingly illustrates Calvert's gift for recontexting his work. (Usages of "Starfarer's Despatch" in various setting are noted in a separate footnote.)

6. There have, however, been a very large number of posthumous reprintings of Calvert poems and lyrics in various issues of Hawkfan (Wisbech, Cambs.), Hawkzine (Eppstein, Germany), publications from Zephyr, Hawkfrendz Press (Liscard, Wallasey), Parasol Post (Leicester), etc., and on the internet within the "Spirit of the P/Age A Multimedia Portrait of Robert Calvert" website of Knut Gerwers (, with material from C232, Earth Ritual and elsewhere.

7. As the predominant purpose of this article is to look at Calvert as an SF poet, and the "Earth Ritual" poems link with SF in the main, only by passing references ("H.G. Wells monstrosity" in the title poem's account of a dying earthworm, for example, or the electric pylon/robot comparison in "Pylons Revisited - for Stephen Spender"), they are not discussed in detail here. But see Calvert's own view of the relationship of these poems with SF in the appendix of his comments on his own poetry.

8. The Book of Rock Family Trees - Pete Frame, Omnibus Press - also reprinted in Hawkfan Press.

9. "Catch A Falling Starfighter", a gem from his concept album on the supposedly state of the art' US-built fighter planes which inexplicably and usually fatally malfunctioned so frequently that they were nicknamed "Widowmakers", again uses echoes of nursery rhyme to add resonance to a modern technological theme - even more resonant in view of the "watch the skies/make a wish" duality of the falling star luck-cum-warning image of the original rhyme.

10. Poem, I believe, cannot escape a narrative element, if only because any poem is itself the narrative, if nothing else, of the poet's struggle with his/her material, quite apart from the fact that the reader or his listener, absorbing the material sequentially, is undergoing a linear transformation of some sort, itself an interactive narrative process.

11. In this context, it is of possible relevance that Calvert had an interest in the work of Ezra Pound, which, as well as a poem about him in C232, extended as far as plans for a play set during the American poet's army camp imprisonment post-WWII, when he was kept awake by a constant searchlight. The technique of illuminating by such flashing images of the "precise general", an exactitude which is yet universally shareable, is thoroughly Poundian, an element in the timeless quality of much of his work.

12. In this duality of vision, he was by no means alone either amongst SF writers or poets generally - in this article I am tending to treat Calvert very much in isolation as if he were unique in using SF material for the purposes of poetry, rather than comparing and contrasting his work, his use of and handling of themes, etc., with the work of others, in the interests of manageability of length, but it needs to be remembered that, in fact, although genre verse remains a small proportion of the overall poetry field, it is still a growing one of, even in the 70's, a considerable number of practitioners.

13. It is also of interest that the poem's "speaker" uses the SFnal term "log" for his record of events, as if traversing them in a space vessel.

14. These appear in the first of the five grouping into which Calvert divided the poems in C232 in its book format, namely that headed "The First Landing On Medusa". However, of the twelve poems in this grouping, several are not SFnal in any sense, i.e. the grouping is not, clearly, intended as the science fiction portion of the collection in any exclusive way.

15. "The Starfarer's Despatch" was performed as a spoken piece by Calvert with Hawkwind in late 1971, at the beginning of his performing career with them - it was then dropped until late 1976 when together with the Clone's Poem and the added line "it's the shape of things to come" it was played briefly as a song on a UK tour. By the time of its appearance on the album Quark, Strangeness and Charm, the chorus and the title had become "(It's The) Spirit Of The Age".

16. Split for C232 into two pieces, the first 18 lines becoming "The Awakening" (which was also performed live with Hawkwind as a spoken piece), while the rest keep the original title. I will discuss it here as it appeared in the Tynecon anthology. (As note previously, it also appears within the Hawklog in slightly different form.)

17. To illustrate the ambiguity inherent in this symbol, Freud interpreted the Medusa as a subconscious-generated image of the female genitalia. I am also tempted to wonder whether at some level it represents for Calvert a symbol of his recurring encounters with mental illness and the paralysing disruption of creative activity they caused.

18. "The Naked And Transparent Man", although again use of rhyme is unobtrusive in a Shellyan way, follows a very strict "traditional" form, that of the rime royal introduced and popularised by Chaucer, i.e. 7-line iambic stanzas, each line of ten syllables, each stansa's rhyme following the pattern ABABBCC. It is of interest that Calvert chose to employ, and New Worlds to publish, material thus constrained, and in a form little used since the 17th century.

19. 451 degrees Farhenheit is the same temperature as 232 degrees Centigrade and as the temperature at which paper burns gave Bradbury's novel of a future book-incinerating society its title.

20. It is an indication of the breadth of Calvert's reading and interests that he draws here on Pliny the Elder (killed in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD79) who devoted a chapter of his Natural History to the supposed powers for good and ill of menstruating women, amongst them the ones cited here.

21. And an indirect reminder of how much the Surrealists themselves saw pulp SF and horror as among the well-sources.

22. At a deeper level, it can also be interpreted as an ironic variation of the frequent theme in poetry of the positive power of the Logos or all-creating initial Word.

23. Bach was the author of the hyper-optimistic "Jonathon Livingston Seagull"P, a much-hyped cult book of the time. Calvert sardonically undercuts its message here.

24. Keats was in fact in Margate in May 1817, working on his long narrative poem "Endymion" (he received an advance payment for the poem whilst there). In Book III of the poem, the protagonist journeys under the sea, and magically awakens and reunites drowned lovers, which adds further resonance to Calvert's poem.

25. It could be argued that there is an element of cliché in the last three words.

26. The Romantic Poets, did indeed have a habit, like modern graffitists, of carving their names to mark their presence.

27. Consumption (although in fact the first symptoms were not to appear until some time after Keats visited Margate). The image also has echoes of the Green Man, that archetypal expression of mankind's ambiguous relation with wild, rejuvenating nature, uncontrollable in its urge to growth, and with the equally untamed elements in our own natures. (In church carvings, etc., he is frequently shown extruding foliage from his mouth.)

28. The Sonic Assassins played a one-off reunion gig, with Calvert guesting, for the 1984 Science Fiction Worldcon (World Convention) in Brighton; Calvert's only other appearance at an SF convention had been a decade earlier, as already mentioned in Part One, to read his poetry at Tynecon 74.

29. The term "cosmic" or "stellar" poet was used by a group of American poets whose key subject was space, from the early 1900s to the 1960s, including Clark Ashton Smith, Stanton Coblentz and Lillith Lorraine. It would be of interest to know if Calvert's use of the term is purely coincidental or if he was aware of them.

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