The great redwoods of my childhood
Are rotten. Their ignorant branches
Crashed like drunk-driven cars,
Creaking to ignominious death down
Wound country lanes, felled by
Mere weary worthlessness.
Stringy saplings now are left exposed to
Frost, to time and mundane
When does pruning become self-persecution?
Perhaps this pain is better. Knowledge, even
Of inadequacy, must surely trump the
Deadened center of an old deluded soul.
To weep for what you’ll never be beats
Not needing it at all.
Ruth Irwin is a London-based poet currently studying History and English at Queen Mary University. Her poetry has appeared in MAP poetry magazine and Spilt inc.
Using the descriptive language of fairy-tales, Campbell conjures up the possible future of a very real and very violent present. It’s a future that could well be a fairy-tale and thus it comes to the reader as a story told before bedtime of distant lands with mystical creatures. A place that can exist if only you believe in it hard enough. Each stanza, made up of three lines, feels like a sigh for the potential peace that the writer longs for.
Siobhán Campbell is a Dublin-born writer living in London. For more about her and her poetry, jump here.
The poem is read by Christopher Delaney.
A short while ago, I was lucky enough to meet renowned poet, Kate Bingham. Thoughtful and eloquent, Kate chatted with me about writing, poets and the pitfalls of television. Somewhere along the way we played an impromptu game of rounders. After all this, Kate kindly read some of her poetry for us. So here, for your aural delectation are two poems. The first is by Kate Bingham herself, and the second is one that she described as being very fond of.
Two by Kate Bingham
Words by Edward Thomas
Kate Bingham lives and works in London. Her work, for which she has received the Eric Gregory Award, has been in numerous publications, such as Oxford Poetry, The Independent and the Rialto. She has released a collection of poetry called Cohabitation and her first novel, Mummy’s Legs.
Illustration for Two by Nick Murray.
The photo of Edward Thomas is lifted from David Constantine’s commemorative piece to Thomas from the Guardian.
Today we present to you a reading of the poem Cats by Marylyn Plessner, spoken by the much-revered choral master Colin Howard.
Read the poem after the jump.