Friday Poem – ‘The Winter Park’ by Paul Henry

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘The Winter Park’ by Paul Henry from his collection As If To Sing.

This cover shows an abstract painting by the artist Antony Goble. A woman with blue skin dominates the image in a vibrant orange dress. She is balancing an urn on her head and holds a red crow in her hand. The text reads: As If To Sing, Paul Henry.

The power of song, to sustain the human spirit, resonates through As if to Sing. A trapped caver crawls back through songs to the sea; Welsh soldiers pack their hearts into a song on the eve of battle, ‘for safe-keeping’; a child crossing a bridge sings ‘a song with no beginning or end’… Rich in the musical lyricism admired by readers and fellow poets, As if to Sing is an essential addition to this Paul Henry’s compelling body of work.

“A poet at the top of his game.” – Radio Wales Review Show

The Winter Park
Ten years now, since I left
and the space between us widens
so we’re ghostly when we meet
and yes, the heart hardens.
Our old life rarely haunts
but can still surprise.
This stone birdbath’s font
for instance, suddenly ablaze
with a ritual. The boys sail twigs
in its brightness as you wait
on a bench for me, to come back
from the bookshop across the street –
your weekly gift, these minutes
alone, that pass into years,
a small park’s blinding light,
and you not waiting here.

As If To Sing is available on the Seren website £9.99

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Watch Paul Henry reading from As If To Sing and performing songs from ‘The Glass Aisle’ on our AM Channel.

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