Ooh, thank-you so much, Clive and DaveC for replying.
Clive, I think you're probably right about the dubious merit of the poet within wider narratives. I think I have a particular love of him because it was one of the first poetry books I read (I picked it up secondhand in a library sale as a child because of the cover, not the contents, and the contents thrilled my tiny mind for reasons I can't guess at. Possibly because they weren't in the GCSE curriculum).
That's interesting, too, about his father - I had no idea and will look him up. It is very, very good to find new things to read.
I envy you your other covers. I'm wondering now if they were in different colours. I guess at yes, with one that pale riso pink, and another a mid-blue.
DaveC - I think that's a very useful thought to have, and thank-you so much for sharing the work of R.P Lister. I love the 'spiral and convoluted dome', and the word 'oriflame' (which I will have to look up) and the idea of the snail carousing inside the shell. Maybe it's about age/ entrance points. I don't read that as great poetry now. I think it's pretty and very, very well crafted, but it doesn't grab me. But I bet it might have done when a child.
I wonder if contemporary poetry offers the same entrance points?