This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Cell’ by Deryn Rees-Jones which appears in her collection Erato.
It was announced yesterday that Deryn’s poem ‘Firebird’, also from Erato, is amongst those highly commended by the Judges in the Forward Prizes for Poetry. Other highly commended poets include Carol Ann Duffy, Inua Ellams, Hugo Williams, Ann Wroe and Morgan Parker.
Named after the Greek muse of lyric poetry, Erato combines documentary-style prose narratives with the passionate lyric poetry for which Rees-Jones is renowned. Here, however, as she experiments with form, particularly the sonnet, Rees-Jones asks questions about the value of the poet and poetry itself. What is the difference, she asks in one poem, between a sigh and a song? Erato’s themes are manifold but particularly focus on personal loss, desire and recovery, in the context of a world in which wars and displacement of people has become a terrifying norm.
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