Tag Archives: cumbria poetry

Sunday Poem – Pauline Yarwood

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Sunday Poem – Pauline Yarwood

This week I’ve spent a bit of time planning my summer holidays.  In  August, I’m off to Macedonia to read at the Struga Poetry Festival, as part of the Versopolis project.  I’ll be at the festival for nearly a week, and then my husband is meeting me in Skopje and we’re going on our own holiday.  We’re going to stay in Ohrid for one night and then drive down to northern Greece and walk 17 km up Mount Olympus,  stay in a refuge near the summit for one night, before walking back down the next day.

I’m also going to Benidorm at the beginning of the summer holidays, on what is turning into an annual holiday with some of the women I run with.  This will be my luxury, sit around the pool and generally laze about holiday.

On Monday, Pauline and I finished the obligatory report on Kendal Poetry Festival for the Arts Council.  It took us five hours, but we were determined that we wanted to get the thing handed in and finished, so we can start work on next year’s festival.  Filling in the after activity report is not one of the fun things about running a festival so I’m glad that over with.

On Tuesday I had my meeting with my supervisor about my first attempt at 5000 words.  I feel so much better about the PhD.  We had a really good conversation about what I’d written and where I needed to improve, and also a frank discussion about the nature of a creative PhD, and that a lot of the critical writing will need to be directed by my creative writing, and that this way of working is going to be a challenge.  My supervisor also said she felt really excited about my project though which was really encouraging.   My main job over the summer is to get some reading done of writing about poetry.  I thought I would ease into it gently and start with Glyn Maxwell’s On Poetry as I’ve been wanting to read it for ages.   

I really enjoyed reading this book – perhaps the thing that has stayed with me the most, or given me the most to think about are his thoughts on stanza breaks.  He refers to W.B Yeats ‘The Song of Wandering Aengus’ to discuss what happens in the white space between stanzas.  He asks what happens in between the stanzas and then answers ‘A change of place, a passing of time.’  He also talks about comparing stanza breaks to scene changes in a film, saying that ‘Some stanza breaks are cuts, some are fades, some are dissolves’.

This has given me lots to think about in relation to my own work but I’ve already started to use some of this in the workshops I’ve ran this weekend with Dove Cottage Young Poets and my Barrow Poetry Workshop.

On Wednesday I drove over to Lumb Bank in Heptonstall.  I was the guest poet on Ann and Peter Sansom’s Arvon course.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to do this – I’ve never been to Lumb Bank before, and it really is a magical place.  The scenery is so beautiful and it was such nice weather, I basically dumped my bag in the cottage and went straight out for a run through the woods and then back along the fields.  I only did 2 miles as I’d been out on Tuesday night and done a 7 mile run and I didn’t want to overdo it.

Then I got back, had a shower and then went for dinner with Ann and Peter and the course participants, and Jill, the assistant centre director, and then did the reading after dinner, sold lots of books, had a cup of tea with some of the course participants and then collapsed into bed! It meant a lot to me to be invited to do this because my whole journey as a poet and a writer started on a residential course, not at Lumb Bank, but at Ty Newydd in Wales.  That first residential that I went on completely changed my life, so it feels pretty amazing to go and be a guest poet on one.

The next day I got up early and went for a run with one of the people booked on the course who I will call D, as I forgot to ask permission to mention him here.  It was a great run, through the woods again but this time crossing the river.  I needed to be back in half an hour, however we got a bit lost and whilst D was bounding up and down the hills to find the right path I was puffing and panting behind trying to keep up.  D was a lot fitter than I thought, which was lucky really as it meant he could scout ahead.  It was a bit like that scene in Lord of the Rings when Gimli the dwarf is puffing along and Legolas speeds on ahead.

I needed to be back in half an hour so I could get to Kendal for 10.30am because I had an appointment to get my tattoo finished.  I managed to get there on time with minutes to spare, and I don’t know if it was because I was exhausted from the run, but the pain was nowhere near as bad as the first session on the tattoo a couple of weeks ago.

This brings us up to date with this weekend which I spent running Dove Cottage Young Poets on Friday, Brewery Poets on Friday night and then running my Barrow Poetry Workshop all day Saturday.  Next week I have a fairly quiet week, so I’m hoping to get lots of reading done and some poetry writing.

So today’s Sunday Poem is by Pauline Yarwood, who as well as being the co-director of Kendal Poetry Festival, is also a very good poet in her own right.  Her first pamphlet Image Junkie has just been published by Wayleave Press and her official launch was a couple of weeks ago.  It’s a great pamphlet and available from Wayleave Press for the bargain price of £5.

Reading through the pamphlet again, I realised that although a lot of the poems are concerned with visual themes (unsurprising as Pauline is a potter) many of the poems also explore the problem of speaking out, not speaking at all, speaking too much, who gets to speak and who doesn’t.  In ‘The Left Wing Coffee Bar, Manchester’ the ‘ex-POW fathers/told us you understand nothing,/nothing’. There are lots of other examples of direct speech in the poems, such as in’La Flaneuse’, ‘Basking Shark’ and ‘The Hare’ and often people are talking too much or not talking enough. 

The poem I’ve chosen  for the Sunday Poem this week is called’Put-downs’.  The hurtful things people can say to other people is something that seems to be on my mind a lot recently.  Helen Mort has just written a great blog about the effect that unsolicited advice and comments can have, which you can read here where she writes back to a male writer who offered some unnecessarily cruel and personal unsolicited remarks.  In the blog, Helen says

I’m sorry for writing an essay back in response to a short email. But sometimes, a few words online can spill over into someone’s life and have quite a profound effect, so I thought it was worth trying to put that into words

This really struck me when I read this.  Maybe it’s something that we all forget too often, that what we say and do can have a profound effect on other people.  Pauline’s poem discusses the effect that words and comments by family members can have on the self, not only as a child but as an adult as well.

The familiar phrase of ‘You’re a sight for sore eyes’ becomes unfamiliar in the poem as the gran gets it ‘the wrong way round’.  There is something funny in this misuse of the phrase at first, and the descriptions of the speaker ‘scratched and bleeding from climbing trees’ or ‘once hiding in tall grass being shown how boys pee’ has real energy and life to it.

By the end of the poem, this humour is wiped out.  There is a sense of something left unsaid with the description of the gran as ‘A woman wrapped in loss’ but this untold story is quickly moved on with the introduction of another familiar phrase.  The last three lines of the poem I found completely chilling, and in particular the last two lines: ‘She could destroy you six different ways with this/depending on where she put the emphasis.’ These two lines send you back to the line before with the phrase ‘who do you think you are’.  I couldn’t help myself but try and put the emphasis in different ways.  When you do this, when you practice saying ‘Who do you think YOU are’ or ‘Who do you think you ARE’ or ‘Who DO you think you are’ it is almost like the Gran emerges and forms, in the white space around the poem.

Thanks to Pauline for letting me post this poem! Here’s to a week, no even better a life of no put-downs and kindness to wash over us all.

Put-downs 
Pauline Yarwood

My gran got it the wrong way round.
You’re a sight for sore eyes, she’d snap,
sharp, when I snuck in through the back door.
I’d be grubby from digging pits for dens
or scratched and bleeding from climbing trees,
red-faced from riding my bike a few feet
further than I was allowed to go,
then a sweaty race back hoping not to be seen,
and once hiding in tall grass being shown how boys pee.
It was years before I realised that being
a sight for sore eyes was a good thing,
a joy to behold.  But I was never that,
just a scruffy kid hoping for toast and marmite
and a bit of a welcome.  She could, I suppose,
have meant that me looking like something
the cat dragged in cheered her up, made her smile.
But that wasn’t my gran.  A woman wrapped in loss,
her other favourite phrase, which never leaves me,
was who do you think you are.
She could destroy you six different ways with this
depending on where she put the emphasis. 

 

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2015 Residential Poetry Courses

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It is quarter past midnight and once I’ve finished writing this, I’ll wake up and it will be the morning of New Year’s Eve. Tomorrow I’ve somehow managed to make my day quite busy but filled with nice stuff.  I’ll be going on my last run of 2014 at 10am in the morning (I really should get to bed).  Then I’m meeting lovely poet Jennifer Copley for lunch.  More about Jenny in a minute.  Then I’m going to meet the other 8 members of Soul Survivors to have our photo taken for the local paper to promote our first big gig on January 30th.  That’s at 3pm.  Then I’m going round to my friend’s house who is pregnant and due any day now.  I’m having a quiet New Year’s Eve this year apart from all that, probably just staying in with the husband, who is currently ill and has spent the last couple of days languishing on the sofa with post viral fatigue syndrome.

On Sunday night, after posting my last blog post, I realised I’d forgotten to tell my lovely poetry news in all the excitement.  Poetry Review arrived and it has two of my poems in – one poem ‘The World’s Smallest Man’ which my lovely friend John Foggin helped me with when I sent an early draft to him, and ‘How the Stones Fell’ which is a rewrite of Ovid’s Creation Myth, again linked to John Foggin.  We both became a bit obsessed with Ovid last year.

I felt really annoyed with myself for forgetting.  I originally started this blog to document what it was like to be a poet and do everything else alongside, and last weekend I forgot the important parts.  I’m not talking about being published although that is lovely, but the process of being a poet.  I’m not sure I’m explaining what I mean properly.

It has something to do with not reading enough which leads to not writing enough, to being too busy to go to my regular writing groups.  It’s something I want to (am going to) change in 2015.

Anyway, I know this is a stupid time to blog.  It’s gone midnight, most of you will be in bed I’m guessing.  And I’m doing my proper round up tomorrow where I look back through 2014.

But first I want to look ahead and draw your attention to the residential course I’m running in Grange Over Sands in 2015.  Details are below.  I’d love to see some of you there.  Half the spaces have gone already, despite me forgetting to publicise it with everything else going on.  It will be a week of nothing but poetry.  Maybe a bit of wine and good food as well actually.  But there will be time to read, write, talk, think about poetry.  It won’t break the bank.

You’ll be glad to know that myself and Jennifer Copley, although we forgot to really publicise the darn thing, have planned it meticulously.  There will be a detailed timetable going up at some point in the next two weeks with a short summary of each workshop.

I’m also going to try and get some testimonials from previous participants, just in case you needed any more convincing.

Here is the most up to date information about the course

Residential Poetry Course – ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves’
Monday 30th March – Friday 3rd April Abbot Hall Hotel, Grange Over Sands

£370 includes accommodation, breakfast and three course evening meal and all workshops and readings

During this week we will explore how to use narrative in our poetry.  Using fairytales, myths, legends and your own family history we will start to create our own untold stories.  Suitable for all ranges of ability – come and join us for a week of workshops, discussions and readings. We will be joined by two mystery guests mid-week.

Booking is now open – please ring the hotel directly on 015395 32896.

If you have any questions about the course please get in touch via the Contact Page.

 

Sunday Poem – Peter Sansom

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Last week I had quite a tough time at work.  Maybe it had something to do with spending last weekend at Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and having about 5 hours sleep before being thrown back into my other life of being a trumpet teacher.  I know it had a lot to do with three instances when I could have put my head in my hands and cried – when I was doing over and above what I am expected and paid to do, and it wasn’t appreciated and in one instance, actively obstructed.  And it has something to do with being asked to do more over the weekend, more than what I’m already doing which is already over and above what I’m paid to do.  I can’t really go into many more details without being unprofessional but I was in a foul mood this afternoon.  I wrote and re-wrote a vitriolic email ten or fifteen times.  I’m quite glad now I didn’t send it.

Instead I posted something on Facebook about feeling unappreciated and was then overwhelmed, to the point of tears by the lovely comments and responses that people posted.  Parents of children that I teach, ex pupils, people that have been in poetry workshops that I’ve ran, friends, people I’ve only met online. It’s so easy to focus on the small, negative things that grind you down instead of looking at the bigger picture and it was lovely to be reminded that I am making a difference to the people that matter, my pupils.  So Facebook in the balance of good and evil, was very much a force for good today, for me at least.

So apart from all of that which has been going on, there was Monday – joint band rehearsal with Barrow Steelworks Band in the evening after I finished teaching and collapsing into bed not long after.  On Tuesday I conducted my other junior band ‘Brasstastic’ without my trusty teaching assistant who comes to help out (another example of teaching staff doing unpaid labour!) Trusty sidekick teaching assistant has recently undergone surgery so is in no fit state to be playing a baritone but I do have three teenagers from my other Junior Band who come to help out with the younger children.  After that I scoffed dinner and then went for a run and then went to Soul Band rehearsal.

On Wednesday I went for a run with the husband and the dogs and popped round with soup to ailing teaching assistant friend who I found sitting with a flask of hot water and some instant mash.  Thank god I got there in time!  I’ve been asked to write an article for The North – the Blind Criticism section – where two poets are given a poem with no author’s name and have to write about 600 words responding to it.  I really enjoyed looking closely at the poem and the other poet is Michael Laskey who I’m sure will have something interesting and useful to say about it!

On Thursday which is my writing day I actually got some writing done and sent some admin stuff off to a new, rather exciting project I’ve been asked to be involved in which I can’t say anything else about at the minute but I will give more details when I can!  I

My sister Jody came round at lunch time and I waited on her hand and foot (ok I made her a sandwich and a cup of tea). In the afternoon I went round to Jennifer Copley’s house for a cup of tea and a catch up on poetry gossip, nipped home, did some private teaching and then went to quintet rehearsal.  I drove from there up to my sister’s new house in Egremont – at the minute she does the same teaching job as me on the west coast of Cumbria but she has recently handed her notice in and is now going to be a kennel manager for an Animal Rescue charity.  The job has a house attached to it which is an amazing 4 bedroom bungalow, surrounded on all sides by green fields.  This is her last term of full time teaching – from January she will be completely changing her life.  I am full of admiration for her first of all for knowing what she wants to do and secondly going for it.

I stayed over on Thursday night because I was running an early morning workshop in Maryport the next day   only four people booked on, so it was pretty intense, probably for them as well as me.  Then I drove straight to Kendal to run my Young Writers group – again a small group and quite intense.  Then I went to the Brewery in Kendal and had something to eat with another broken friend – this friend slipped over while walking my dogs and broke her ankle a couple of weeks ago before going to Brewery Poets, the critiquing group that I go to.

I took a poem that is going to be in the collection – a late addition.  In fact I only wrote it at St Ives but it is another poem to go in the sequence and it’s been bubbling away for years I think.  It is about the flat I lived in ten years ago – I’ve written poems and poems about it that I’ve thrown away but it finally came together in a visualisation exercise that Clare Shaw did in a workshop.  Taking the poem to a group workshop helps me look at it more objectively and detach myself from it which is exactly what I need with these poems.

Talking of my poems, I met Peter Raynard a couple of weeks ago when I was reading in London.  Peter is the proprietor of Proletarian Poetry, In the blog, Peter is looking at how poets write about the working class, and he asked me if he could feature my poem ‘My People’ on his blog.  You can find my poem here with a video which I’d forgotten even existed, of me reading at the Eric Gregory Award Winners reading in London in 2011.  I’ve signed up to get Peter’s updates for his blog after being impressed with his considered and detailed reading of my poem – I’ve spent some of today having a look at some of his other posts as well, which are really fascinating.  One for my neglected blog roll if I could remember how to work the cursed thing.

On Saturday the husband and I trailed around furniture shops looking for a sofa for what is going to be my writing room and then trailed round looking for a gas fire.  It took us hours to decide to not buy any more furniture until we replace mouldy old carpets in new house.  And there is no point replacing the carpets until the bathroom is done and the gas fire is fitted because of the dust and the dirt etc.  It is like one of those circular nightmares!  Anyway, we gave up and went for a run on Kirby Moor instead with the dogs – four miles and 800 feet of ascent.

Which brings us up to date.  Today I’ve been for a run (11 and a half kilometres), came home, had a lukewarm bath (for some reason the hot water was defying me and refusing to work, or more accurately, working when it felt like it).  I’ve worked on some poems, rewrote a stroppy email ten times that I then didn’t send, complained on Facebook, been cheered up by my lovely friends, worked some more on my collection and sent new version to Amy at Seren and finally, here I am, washed up on the shores of this blog.

Today’s Sunday Poem is by the wonderful Peter Sansom, one of the driving forces behind Smith/Doorstop and The Poetry Business.  Peter and Ann Sansom are the editors of The North and publish pamphlets and collections under the imprint of Smith/Doorstop.  They run brilliant writing workshops in Sheffield once a month.  If you haven’t been to one, you should go.  You can find more information about Peter’s activities as an editor and tutor at The Poetry Business website.

But Peter is also a great poet in his own right and has had numerous books published by Carcanet which are available from the Carcanet website.  His Selected Poems came out with Carcanet in 2010 and a new collection ‘Careful What You Wish For’ is due out from Carcanet in June 2015.  This poem is a new poem which I really hope is going to be in the new collection.  I heard Peter read this poem a couple of months ago when I read with him in Hebden Bridge and I loved it straight away.

I know I’m obsessed with running at the minute, but I don’t see how you couldn’t love this poem, even if you hate running, and the only reason you run is if something is chasing you.

I love the first sentence ‘You didn’t ask anything of me,’ I’ve been thinking a lot about tone in poetry recently and how the tone of a poem is set right from the beginning and those starting words sound as if the poet is in the middle of a conversation with the thing being addressed.  Of course we know that ‘Cross Country’ can’t talk – it is a thing, or not even a thing, it is an event.  We know the poet is looking back into the past because of the past tense, but the poem has tremendous forward moving energy straight away.

I like how the poet has not been afraid to use repetition in the poem which kind of fits with the subject ‘Every day was training’ which comes back later in the poem as well and of course the wonderful, lyrical repetition at the end.

The poem is funny as well, all the way through.  I like the lines ‘You weren’t exciting though you hurt’ and ‘Even the dog said give it a rest’.  I remember sitting next to Peter while he read this poem and not being able to stop smiling. But the thing that makes this poem for me is the lovely ending ‘I ran with a little song in my heart for years’.  I love the use of the word ‘little’ in this instance – although I often feel that it is a word that can be done away with in poetry a lot of the time – in this instance it is perfect.

I like that the poem is trying to work out something about running as it goes along, and can only do so by saying what it is not, until that lovely repetition ‘The earth went round the sun/The earth went round the sun/And I went after it’  I think it captures something of what I love about running ‘You were a lifestyle along the byways’  or ‘You were your own purpose’. The more I read this poem, the more I think that running and poetry have lots in common.

I hope you enjoy the poem, and thanks to Peter Sansom for letting me use it here.

Cross Country – Peter Sansom

You didn’t ask anything of me, just head-down ahead
Of the tortoise, somewhere in the first forty
The sport of also-rans, I never stepped
From the crease to find the boundary
And the winner hammered home in the last gasp of extra time
That wasn’t me, that wasn’t mine

I slept your miles
A number pinned to my chest
You weren’t exciting though you hurt
You had no rules to stay alert for
You were a lifestyle along the byways
Of couch grass and abandoned railways
And every day was training
Dumble Woods, bluebell woods and the dripping
Ploughed field in between,
Every day was training
Even the dog said give it a rest

Drizzle in the desert of fresher’s week
You were meek and not sexy
Though you were your own purpose
You were midweek even on Saturday

When we got off the coach in Derby
Not the cinder tracks of Helsinki
With no thought of winning
We lined up at the back and stayed there
In our own beginning
I ran through those days like water
Through mud

I ran with a little song in my heart for years
And my heart in my ears
The earth went round the sun
The earth went round the sun
And I went after it

Sunday Poem – Moniza Alvi

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Evening folks – I’m really excited about this week’s Sunday Poem because it is by one of my favourite poets, Moniza Alvi.  I’ve been reading Moniza’s work since I first started writing poetry – so am very happy that she has agreed to let me use one of her poems today.  In fact feel slightly guilty about wittering about my week and making you wait for the poem! But I am nothing if not a creature of habit..

So this week has been pretty full – I’ve started running sectional rehearsals for my junior band to get ready for the South Cumbria Music Festival – this week on Monday the Solo cornets and the Soprano player came and rehearsed for an extra hour before the full band arrived.  Next week it’s half term so I have Monday evening off but after that I’ll be doing sectional rehearsals for an extra hour every week until the Festival.  I wouldn’t want you to think I was competitive though…haven’t even thought about winning…honest…

So as well as obsessing about the music festival and doing lots of music teaching I had some good news this week – the Wordsworth Trust managed to get some extra funding for some more sessions with the Young Writers group that I’ve been working with in Kendal which is great news because they are a fantastic group.  So I went off to Kendal this Friday to run another session – it just happened to STILL be Valentines Day – unfortunately I had forgotten this fact – despite remembering it in the morning and buying appropriate card for the husband – anyway, luckily for me the teenagers disliked Valentines Day as much as I do so were appreciative of not having to read any love poems during the session.  Anyway, all week I’d been looking forward to going for a meal after the session had finished at 5.30pm and before Brewery Poets, the critiquing group that I go to once a month started at 7.30.  There is a really nice Chinese restaurant called the Bejing House in Kendal that I wanted to go to after having a lovely meal there previously but it wasn’t until I sat down and looked around and realised that everybody in said restaurant was a couple and that the restaurant was festooned with red balloons and hearts everywhere that I remembered that it was in fact, still Valentines Day.  By then it was too late to escape and go to the drive through at Mcdonalds as I’d sat down and the staff had been very nice so I stayed.  And it was actually fine!  I would never have sat on Valentines Day, on my own ten years ago or maybe even five years ago, but it was kind of funny, not really embarrassing – so decided that my whole life, had in fact, been preparation for this day and this proved I was now emotionally mature, fully functioning, independent adult etc etc.  Maybe I read too much into it!

The other poetry related things I’ve done include finally finishing off my sequence!  I am very excited about it – 20 poems about domestic violence which I will maybe write more about another time – but they have now gone off to a publisher who has expressed an interest in publishing them as a pamphlet – so I’ll let you all know if I hear anything.  I’ve also sent 16 of these poems off to three different magazines – its the first time they have had the chance to be accepted or rejected and I’m not sure how well they work in a small group or on their own so it will be interesting to see what happens to them.

The other nice thing that happened this week was that the lovely Rialto arrived!  The Rialto is one of those magazines that smells really good.  I have two poems in there this time but am especially grateful to the Rialto because I read it whilst in the Chinese Restaurant on Valentines Day and maybe it was this that made me not care…I thought this issue was really, really good – new poems from lots of great poets – well worth checking it out at http://www.therialto.co.uk/pages/On the same day, rather excitingly, a proof from the TLS  for my poem ‘The Fall’ – I don’t know when it will be published but I have my mum and dad on watch!

As I said before, this week’s poem is by Moniza Alvi.  Moniza’s most recent book ‘At The Time of Partition’ was shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize this year and is a wonderful book – but because it is a book-length poem which is very much of a piece I didn’t think it would do the poem justice to quote just a section from it.  As well as this, I heard Moniza read last week from her book ‘Homesick for the Earth’.  Moniza has translated, or made versions of poems by Jules Supervielle who was born in Montevideo to French parents and grew up in Uruguay and France.  The poems have an edge of surrealism and I think a kind of childlike wonder sometimes – the poem I’ve chosen definitely has this.

I wrote to Moniza and asked her for this poem as soon as I read it – it is about a third of the way through the book.  Then I carried on reading and found more and more poems which I loved – in ‘Animal Faces’ the poem asks the question of what would happen if animals could speak – not a particularly original idea you might think – but the poem takes this idea and makes it surprising and thought-provoking – the poem finishes

“We long for a wink, a gesture from a foreleg.
But if you complied, we’d run a mile
in fear of the trouble this would cause.
We would never be alone in the fields or forests.
The moment we left the house
we’d hide our heads under a dark cloth.”

I love the ending of ‘Fish Swimming’ as well –
“Swim out to sea, leave me on dry land.
We weren’t meant to mix up our lives.”

The book also has the original French text on the opposite pages which I think is so important with translations…I read the book cover to cover and will definitely go back to it and re read it more slowly.  Moniza has also written a great introduction to the book as well about the challenges of translation which is worth reading.

So after you’ve read ‘Homesick for the Earth’ you should then go and read all of Moniza’s other books – they are all fantastic and I love the way Moniza does something new in every collection – she doesn’t hit something that works and then repeat it – it seems that she is constantly moving forward and developing and challenging herself – and the reader in fact – in her collection ‘Europa’ for example I think the way she writes about violence is original and exciting and necessary.

Moniza Alvi was born in Lahore, Pakistan, and came to England when she was a few months old. She grew up in Hertfordshire and studied at the universities of York and London.  She has published eight books of poetry with Bloodaxe and tutors for the Poetry School.  If you would like to find out more about Moniza Alvi you can go to her website at http://www.moniza.co.uk/index.html

If you would like to order any of Moniza’s books, you can go to Inpress which is a much more worthy company than the big A which I won’t mention here!  The Inpress website is here: http://www.inpressbooks.co.uk/homesick-for-the-earth/

I’ve chosen the title poem of ‘Homesick for the Earth’ because I believe in the voice of the poem.  I like how it made me think differently about the sun and the planet – for a short poem it does a lot of work!

I hope you enjoy the Sunday Poem!

Homesick for the Earth – Moniza Alvi/Jules Supervielle

One day we’ll say ‘The sun ruled then.
Don’t you remember how it shone on the twigs,
on the old, as well as the wide-eyed young?
It knew how to make all things vivid
the second it alighted on them.
It could run just like the racehorse.
How can we forget the time we had on earth?
If we dropped a plate it clattered.
We’d look around like connoisseurs,
alert to the slightest nuance of the air,
knew if a friend was coming towards us.
We’d pick daffodils, collect pebbles, shells –
when we couldn’t catch the smoke.
Now smoke is all we hold in our hands.’