Friday Poem – ‘What the Burglar Took’ by Rosalind Hudis


This week’s Friday Poem is ‘What the Burglar Took’ by Rosalind Hudis from her collection Restorations. You can hear Rosalind chatting about the book on the The Seren Poetry Podcast which is available now on all podcast platforms.

This cover shows an abstract print of some mountains tinged with hints of blue, red and purple. The text reads: Restorations, Rosalind Hudis.

Restorations is a journey into what it means to preserve – a monument, a moment, a life-story, a poppy. It’s about the hunger to possess and the need to let go. Welding themes from art and history with the contemporary, there are poems about pigments and dictators, glue and glass houses, collections, crinolines, and barometers, and the vagaries of memory itself. Entwined, is a more personal story that tracks the loss of a parent to dementia. Also running through, is a theme of women eroding the straitjacket of gendered roles. Linking all is a play with colour, particularly blue, in all its stages from vital to decayed.

What the Burglar Took
That night it was nothing.
Cinematic, he’d slid
under the kitchen window,
swerved an old veined saucer,
rocked the vintage cactus,
slippered his way across tiles
on a moulting rug
that still smelt of your last dog
and made you wheeze.
After that threshold no sign,
yet you felt him in every omission
the carriage clock that paced him
but never chimed, silverfish
partying by moonlight who’d fled
into covens of dust, slivers
of streetlamp that laid a grid
from back to front room
where shadows failed to creak.
His exit, another window,
half open in the study.
The room was rigid with night,
The Great Bear
encrypted in the cushions.
You touched frost on the inside,
took to spying on your house,
heard whispers in the heating kettle
Morse in the water-pipes.

The Seren Poetry Podcast is a new series of in-depth interviews with Seren poets. Episode 7 with Rosalind Hudis 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.

Restorations is available on the Seren website for £9.99

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