Zachary Cox at Treadwells: 3 May 2006

The second evening of Zachary Cox’s short season at Treadwells last night was enchanting and was well attended by those of the London occult literati who were intrigued by his reputation for excellence in ritual, recitation and invocation. The evening began, as is customary at Treadwells‘ functions, with wine and meeting new people. Our delightful hostess Christina made some introductions and soon everyone was at ease. At 7:30 we were led downstairs, where we found a slightly nervous Zachary Cox being wired up for sound and preparing his notes. Zachary is a tall man with long hair and a goatee beard, which give him a slightly bohemian air. He has a powerful presence and throughout the recital, I had the feeling that at any moment one of the old gods would respond to his invocatory style of delivery with a manifestation! He began with an introduction to Swinburne and selected extracts from his “The Garden of Persephone”. Zachary intersperses his recitals with wonderful anecdotes and observations on the structure and style of his poets. Tonight he described how Persephone could be pronounced in different ways, but so that the poem could rhyme he had identified the way that Swinbourne had probably pronounced it. Zachary continued with Masefield’s “Sea Fever” and a poem of his own, “Flowers For My Grave” that had been published in the old St Martins Magazine. He pointed out how disappointed he had been on occasion when his poems had been rejected by publishers and noted that he had solved this problem by becoming the editor himself! He continued with selected verses from Crowley’s long prose poem “AHA”, Swinburne’s “Xmas Carol” and Crowley’s “King Ghost”, followed by readings from Crowley’s “Diary of a Drug Fiend”. At this point I looked at the clock on the wall and realised to my suprise that nearly an hour and a half had passed by and I hadn’t noticed…! The final poem was Ethel Ramsey’s excellent “The Sabbath”, which received a loud round of applause. Zachary thanked us for attending and Christina invited questions from the floor. All in all a remarkable evening that was rounded off with some stimulating conversation upstairs afterwards. Perhaps next time Zachary may consider reciting some of Crowleys more risque poems, such as extracts from “White Stains” or “Leah Sublime”, but a wonderfull evening was had by all and one hopes that Christina at Treadwells will be able to persuade Zachary to return soon.

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