there is a flower
whose colour I cannot see
of pervasive scent
(John Riley, from Part I of Czargrad)
Czargrad was written over the space of about eighteen months, from the summer of 1972 to the end of 1973 or the beginning of 1974, and was composed concurently with a number of shorter poems. It appears from the drafts to have grown organically, with no overall planning of its eventual four-part structure. Short sections were written, revised, and reordered to build the work into its final state.