The Colonel’s statement about his stories is something my father told me once.
An aisling is originally an Irish poetic genre: it is a form of dream vision, in which the poet sees a woman who represents Ireland, and who informs him of the future of his country. As is clear, I have adapted it for my own selfish ends.
‘256 Poems of Love and Regret’ is a set of four sonnets designed to be able to be divided up and read in any order, the first quatrain of one, the closing couplet of another &c. &c. Provoking the same emotions by the use of different combinations of words, perhaps.
‘error’ is a translation of the short prose text ‘error’ by the contemporary Russian poet Marianna Geide. It comes from her prose collection Мертвецкий фонарь (2007).
‘From Mayhew’ is an adaptation of a report I found in The Unknown Mayhew: Selections from the Morning Chronicle 1849–50.
‘From Rilke’ is an extremely free translation of Rilke’s ‘Herbsttag’, first collected in Das Buch der Bilder (1902).
‘Europe’ is a translation of Marie Luise Kaschnitz’s poem ‘Europa’ which I found in Patrick Bridgwater, ed., Twentieth-Century German Verse.
This is a book of lies; these notes are true.