Prelude in E-Minor or Milner Place Hoists Sail by Mark Murphy

Milner Place
Milner Place (25 January 1930 – 28 May 2020)

Prelude in E-Minor or Milner Place Hoists Sail

We cannot go with you this time
All-consuming night
has swallowed the moon

So tide and wave retire
as the piano chimes with regret
in the reed beds

and mealie fields
where the widow birds mourn
beneath the sightless sky

Now we must say manana
as we leave the somber shore
to follow our own callings

Melody and harmony breeding
tears as we return
to your meditations

and tone poems
lost in the song of the sea
where the starless chords stretch
…………and shrink time

Still boy becomes man and man dust
departing the cares
of this world with all its joy shapes
…………doldrums and dreams


Milner Place (25 January 1930 – 28 May 2020) was an English writer most well known for his poetry. He was born in Thirsk, North Yorkshire to Dorothy F. Place and Tom Place. He had three siblings, Ullin, Dorothy and David. His brother Ullin Place is well known for his work on consciousness as a process of the brain. His sister is a well-known sociologist.Early in his life he worked as a forester. From 1948 to 1950 he served in the military, he then studied briefly at an agricultural college, worked as a bartender and managed the family farm. Place lived much of his life on the sea. In 1953 he sailed to South Africa where he worked in a copper mine. In 1955 he returned to England and worked as a journalist. In 1958 he sailed to New York City and from 1958 to 1961 lived in the Bahamas.

In 1961, he bought his first ship and sailed it through Miami and England to Mallorca. During the Algerian War, he was a smuggler. The years 1962 and 1963 he spent in Bilbao and Madrid. In 1965 he captained a sailing ship built in the Netherlands to Lisbon. In the following years he drove several ocean races with Juan Carlos the future King of Spain. In 1966 in Denmark he turned a barge into a yacht and in 1967 and 1968 he ran a yacht charter in Malta for wedding couples and regularly sailed the route via Lampedusa and Tunisia. In 1969 he was a consultant for Forte International Hotels in Sardinia and Greece before he organized a fishing fleet in Ecuador. Shortly thereafter, he fled to Peru on charges of alleged piracy. He then worked for the Manu River Project and for similar projects in Brazil and Panama. In 1971 he returned to England before working for time in the Canary Islands as a photographer. In 1973 he traveled to Mexico to write an ultimately unpublished novel. While struggling with the novel he took up poetry as a relief from working on the novel. In 1976 he moved – now with his partner Dorothy and the stepson Paul – to Mallorca.

Milner Place was an editor for Poetry Circle, a forum for contemporary poetry in the United States. He wrote his first poems in Mallorca in Spanish. After his settlement in Huddersfield / UK in 1987, he began to write poetry in English.

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