This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Isolation Blessing’ by Polly Atkin, author of Basic Nest Architecture. This poem was first published for Manchester Writing School’s Write Where We Are Now project which invites poets to write directly about the Coronavirus pandemic or about the personal situation they find themselves in right now.
Polly Atkin’s debut poetry collection, Basic Nest Architecture, is complex, vivid and moving. It opens with poems inspired by her home in the Lake District, and the landscape and famous Romantic poets such as Wordsworth and Keats, who have walked there and written about the fells and lakes. Nature is a guiding presence, but the author’s personal story, of enduring a little-known and sometimes debilitating illness, is also the backdrop to this striking poetry. Formally, this work is more akin to the metaphysical poets in its fervent use of metaphor, in its multiple layers of meaning and in its quest for answers to the most pressing questions of mortality.
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