Southeast Missouri State University Press

Mind the Gap: Poems by an American in London

Robert Hamblin

Publication: 2004
Pages: 98

Philip Kolin, editor of the Tennessee Williams Encyclopedia and Hurricane Blues, author of 26 books, as well as numerous articles and poems:
“Like Mark Twain, his fellow Missourian, Robert Hamblin takes readers on an adventuresome and imaginative journey of the city of Shakespeare, Dryden, Darwin, Mrs. Dalloway, Margaret Thatcher, a Falstaff-looking tramp who tries to bed a lass in a pub, and a whole host of other lively characters his camera-perfect eye captures for us. His poems are witty and written in polished American English vernacular. They sparkle with the piquant sincerity of a man who can exist in and bring into harmonious closure two different continents. Since we can’t take the Concorde to Heathrow anymore, I urge anglophiles everywhere to read and rejoice in Mind the Gap, which can get us to London even quicker and with more delights than the fabled plane that competed with sound for speed.”

Joseph Stanton, author of Imaginary Museum: Poems and Art and Cardinal Points: Poems on St. Louis Cardinal Baseball:
“Robert Hamblin’s poems in this fine collection discover a London of the heart—a moveable and moving feast of reflections and observations—from Holland Park to Hyde Park, from Bloomsbury to Leicester Square, and all around the town. He builds for us a richly memorable city of words that deserves repeated visits.”

Louis Daniel Brodsky, author of Shadow War: A Poetic Chronicle of September 11 and Beyond:
“To read these gentle, beautiful poems in one sitting, from beginning to end, is to submit yourself to the enchantment of poetic evocation, literature that transports the spirit and allows the mind to revel in heightened experiences. Robert Hamblin works such magic in Mind the Gap, inviting us to travel with him, on his passionate journey through literary London and England ancient and modern. But this book is no mere poetic travelogue. Hamblin has fused images and memories from trips he’s made to England, over a dozen years, into this book, allowing us to share in the fulfillment of a dream he had as a boy growing up in the rural South: to visit the ‘scepter’d isle,’ to come under its spell.”

The Midwest Book Review, The Bookwatch:
“Mind the Gap is a compendium of free-verse poetry that evokes imagination and wonder from observing the longstanding grandeur of London and the activities of both the ordinary and the eccentric people who live there. Mind the Gap is a verbal feast of impressions for the imagination.”

Robert Hamblin is Professor of English and Director of the Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University. Co-editor of eleven volumes on the life and works of William Faulkner, he has authored a sports biography, Win or Win: A Season with Ron Shumate, and a previous book of poems, From the Ground Up. Mind the Gap is based on his experiences and observations in London while teaching in the Missouri–London Program.

Trade paperback, $12.00
ISBN: 978-0-9724304-6-3