Friday Poem – ‘In Spring’ by Rhiannon Hooson

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘In Spring’ by Rhiannon Hooson from her collection The Other City. Rhiannon’s new collection Goliat was published in 2022.

This cover shows a painting of two towering walls casting long shadows down onto the ground, dwarfing the tiny figure walking into the light on the other side. The text reads: The Other City. Rhiannon Hooson.

Shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year, The Other City is full of sharply focused, beautifully resonant and deeply felt poems. The poet charts a course through real and imagined landscapes, where actions are done and undone, and the everyday made unfamiliar. Drawing on the personal and political histories of the Welsh countryside where she grew up, as well as more enigmatic mythologies, the poems map a journey through both the familiar and the foreign, giving us glimpses of unsettling spaces, where light falls “like silk pegged out to rot across the snow”.

In Spring
There are leaves like hands opening
and the old queen in her rotten palanquin
teetering along the road, stones
in the black ground opening like eyes
you open your mouth to sing
the road bursts into blossom
ticks fall from the backs of horses
nests from the eaves.
In attic rooms fanfared with creaking ropes
poets hanging quietly sift into insects,
find cracks, escape
and burrow into the bronze shock
of the sky. Those pinkly newborn children
uncurl on their pillows and speak new words
to their mothers, new soft words
from their soft palates
and soak up sun on all the windowsills
like fat hairless cats, watching.
What gods come, come stalking on all fours,
lean, and hungry, and afraid.

The Other City is available on the Seren website for £9.99

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On Tuesday 11th April, hear Rhiannon reading from her new collection Goliat in the Seren Showcase at Waterstones Cardiff. Tickets £6. Starts at 7pm. Book via the Waterstones website.

This cover shows a photograph of a ghost-like figure, standing in a field at dusk with a sheet draped over its head. The text reads: Goliat. Rhiannon Hooson.

An intelligent and beautiful book, Goliat offers absorbing stories of a precarious world on the brink of climate emergency. Employing startling imagery and a deep sense of history, these poems explore the irreplaceable beauty of a wild world, and the terrible damage that humans might do to each other and the earth.


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