Friday Poem – ‘A Late Aubade’ by Ben Wilkinson


This week’s Friday Poem is ‘A Late Aubade’ by Ben Wilkinson from his collection Same Difference. You can hear Ben chatting about the book on the The Seren Poetry Podcast which is available now on all podcast platforms.

This cover shows an abstract painting made up of dark blues and greys. There is a face-like smudge in the centre and splashes of red, yellow and green on the left hand side. The text reads: Same Difference, Ben Wilkinson.

Same Difference is the formally acute second collection by Ben Wilkinson. Carefully crafted, and charged with contemporary language, the poems play with poetic voice and the dramatic monologue, keeping us on our toes and asking just who is doing the talking. Throughout, he ‘steps into the shoes’ of French symbolist poet Paul Verlaine (1844-96), reframing his voice for modern readers. Brimming with everyone from cage fighters and boy racers to cancer patients and whales in captivity, Same Difference is gritty, darkly ironic and often moving – a collection for our times.

A Late Aubade
after Verlaine
How long since we last lolled here all morning,
the house quiet and still, snow falling
beyond our bedroom’s window and warmth?
Now we’ve time to uncover each other
after what seems like months apart –
losing ourselves in that same tender art
to open one thought onto another –
even this grim half-light has a charm of sorts.
Times like these grant us leave from the world –
those claims it makes of everyone –
and the constant doing that comes to nothing;
the snow still falls and the streets are frozen.
Instead, let this moment be perfectly held:
return us to something we hadn’t thought missing.

The Seren Poetry Podcast is a new series of in-depth interviews with Seren poets. Episode 6 with Ben Wilkinson is available to listen to now.

Simply search ‘The Seren Poetry Podcast’ in your favourite podcast app and follow or subscribe to have all future editions delivered straight to your podcast feed. Available on all platforms including Apple PodcastsSpotify and Google Podcasts. Don’t forget to leave us a review if you like what you hear.

Same Difference is available on the Seren website for £9.99

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