Friday Poem – ‘Roots’, Lynne Hjelmgaard

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘Roots’ by Lynne Hjelmgaard, from her collection A Boat Called Annalise.

A Boat Called Annalise Lynne Hjelmgaard‘A Boat Called Annalise is a triumphant collection of poetry, marking a new embarkation for Hjelmgaard as a poet. It’s a collection which can be read time and time again, and will especially be appreciated by readers looking for new beginnings, those experiencing life’s traumas and working through the healing process called grief.’ Wales Arts Review
Lynne Hjelmgaard’s most recent collection, A Boat Called Annalise vividly recalls a sailboat journey, as well as a journey through marriage, and ultimately grief. ‘Roots’ is one of the movingly elegiac poems in the final section, in which the poet reflects on mortality and happiness. Her work is full of sentiment without being sentimental.

 

Roots Friday Poem Lynne Hjelmgaard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Poem – ‘Return to Cardiff’, Dannie Abse

Dannie Abse Return to Cardiff

The National Eisteddfod is coming to Cardiff, and with just a few hours to go, we couldn’t think of a better Friday Poem to feature than Dannie Abse’s ‘Return to Cardiff’.

Wales, and Cardiff in particular, haunted the imagination of the great Dannie Abse. In Welsh Retrospective he writes movingly about the Cardiff of his childhood, home of his beloved Bluebirds football team, and also about the small village of Ogmore-by-Sea, location of early holidays and for many years his home in Wales. Selected from the whole of Dannie Abse’s writing career, the book includes such well known and well-loved poems as ’In the Theatre’ and our featured poem today, ’Return to Cardiff’, alongside many previously uncollected poems. Welsh Retrospective gives fascinating insights into Dannie Abse’s Wales and his versatility as a poet.

 

Friday Poem Return to Cardiff Dannie Abse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to Dannie Abse performing this remarkable poem at Seren’s First Thursday event, December 2009:

 

Welsh Retrospective is available from the Seren website: £8.99

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Friday Poem – ‘I Am In Love With Myself People Say’, Marianne Burton

Marianne Burton Friday Poem Kierkegaard

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘I Am In Love With Myself People Say’, from Marianne Burton’s new collection, Kierkegaard’s Cupboard.

Did you know: all our books (including Marianne’s) are half price this week?  Take a peek at our website before the offer ends.

The life of Søren Kierkegard has inspired this new book of poems, in which Burton delves in to the extensive writings both by and about the influential Danish philosopher. Kierkegaard’s Cupboard is split into six sections, each section inspired by an aspect or event in Søren Kierkegaard’s life.
‘I Am In Love With Myself People Say’ takes inspiration from The Seducer’s Diary  – a fictional parallel to Kierkegaard’s failed relationship with his beloved Regine. Intending to make their broken engagement easier for Regine to bear, Kierkegaard portrays himself as the unworthy seducer to her fictional counterpart, Cordelia. In Burton’s poem we feel the full force of Johannes’ self-serving love: the sonnet form serving in defence of the speaker, rather than praise for its object.

 

I Am In Love With Myself People Say

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kierkegaard’s Cupboard is currently half price on the Seren Website: £9.99 £4.99

Half price offer ends midnight, Sunday 29 July.

 

 

Friday Poem – ‘History’, Zoë Skoulding

Last night, in front of a packed audience, we were thrilled to witness Zoë Skoulding accepting a Cholmondeley Award for an outstanding body of poetic work. In celebration, our Friday Poem today is ‘History’, a poem from Zoë’s latest collection, The Museum of Disappearing Sounds.

Friday Poem Zoë Skoulding

Zoë Skoulding Museum of Disappearing SoundsThe disappearing sounds of Skoulding’s collection may be either in the rich sonic environments that the poems observe, or in the resonance of words themselves, which exist in traces of speech and breath. These poems can provoke states of eerie unease, or of passion evoked with shimmering densities of verbal texture. Exploratory and alive to the senses,The Museum of Disappearing Sounds creates new perspectives on language and the world in which it exists.

 

Friday Poem Zoë Skoulding History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Museum of Disappearing Sounds is available from the Seren website: £8.99

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Friday Poem – ‘Swan’, Ross Cogan

Friday Poem Ross Cogan Swan

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘Swan’, from Ross Cogan’s new collection, Bragr.

Ross Cogan BragrWhether it’s myth intended to explain the constellations, the secret of eternal life, or the bloodthirsty tale of the mead of poetry, Ross Cogan’s collection Bragr (meaning ‘poetry’ in Old Norse) is a reimagining of Norse mythology for our times. The collection also focuses on environmental concerns: the earth’s incredible beauty seems all the more fragile in the face of habitat loss and global warming.
In ‘Swan’ the poet recalls an archaeological excavation of a neolithic settlement in Denmark that unearthed a remarkable grave. The excavation was detailed in Simon Mithen’s book, After the Ice.

 

Swan Ross Cogan Bragr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bragr is available from the Seren website: £9.99

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Friday Poem – ‘Dear Anne Monroe, Healthcare Assistant’, Bryony Littlefair

Friday Poem Bryony Littlefair Dear Anne Monroe NHS

July 2018 marks 70 years of the National Health Service Act and the NHS. In celebration, acclaimed poet Owen Sheers has produced a new ‘film-poem’ showing twenty-four hours in the NHS, ‘To Provide All People’ – now available to watch on BBC iPlayer. This week’s Friday Poem by Bryony Littlefair, ‘Dear Anne Monroe, Healthcare Assistant’, also gives us a glimpse inside our healthcare system.

Giraffe Bryony LittlefairAn apology opens this powerful poem, in which a healthcare assistant faces up to a patient’s pre-op fear and resistance: ‘I’m sorry that my sister will not let you take her blood/ for the operation that will save her life.’ Everyday struggles are presented in a stark light: the ‘gulped-down cheese and lettuce/ sandwich’, the intrusive questioning of ‘where it is you’re from originally’.
The politics in Littlefair’s poems are mostly implicit in the stories told, only occasionally bursting through like an urgent message. Giraffe, her Mslexia Prize-winning pamphlet, expertly merges the poet’s wit and wonderful humanity with novelistic qualities and a feminist kick: this is a beguiling, beautiful and entertaining debut.

Bryony Littlefair Dear Anne Monroe NHS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giraffe is available from the Seren website: £5.00

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Friday Poem – ‘Teaching the Trumpet’, Kim Moore

Friday poem Kim Moore

In advance of Kim Moore’s appearance on BBC Radio 3’s Private Passions this Sunday, our Friday Poem is ‘Teaching the Trumpet’, from Kim’s debut collection, The Art of Falling. 

The Art of Falling Kim MooreThe Art of Falling is Kim Moore’s first poetry collection and has already made big waves, with judges of the Geoffrey Faber memorial prize crowning it winner, and praising it as ‘thrilling language at its most irresistible and essential.’ ‘Teaching the Trumpet’ is one of many poems in this collection that confront the reader with startling realism. Alongside, we are offered portraits of John Lennon, Hartley Street, and a Tuesday at Wetherspoons, and the devastating central sequence, ‘How I Abandoned My Body To His Keeping’, which recounts an abusive relationship.
If you would like to hear about some of the inspiration behind ‘Teaching the Trumpet’, listen in to BBC radio 3’s Private Passions at 12pm on Sunday (or listen online, whenever you want) where Kim will be discussing her love of brass instruments.

 

Kim Moore Teaching the Trumpet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of Falling is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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Friday Poem – ‘The Pub at the End of the World’, Tamar Yoseloff

Friday Poem Pub Tamar Yoseloff

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘The Pub at the End of the World’ by Tamar Yoseloff from her recent New & Selected collection,A Formula for Night.

Tamar Yoseloff A Formula for NightA Formula for Night: New and Selected Poems encompasses selections from four published volumes: Sweetheart, Barnard’s Star, Fetch and The City with Horns, and poems from Yoseloff’s collaborations with artists: Formerly, Marks and Desire Paths. Her new poems are often artful explorations of paradox: death/birth, dark/light, clarity/mystery.
‘The Pub at the End of the World’ is an almost post-apocalyptic vision of a back-end bar with walls ‘darkened/ by nicotine’ and ‘pockmarked by countless failed bullseyes’. You may well know somewhere like it – somewhere you also feel ‘strangely at home’.

 

The Pub at the End of the World Judy Brown Friday Poem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tamar Yoseloff: A Formula for Night is available on the Seren website: £12.99

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Friday Poem- ‘The Madonna of Oxfam’, Judy Brown

Judy Brown Friday Poem Madonna of Oxfam

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘The Madonna of Oxfam’ by Judy Brown, from her latest collection,Crowd Sensations.

The Madonna of Oxfam Crowd Sensations Judy Brown‘The Madonna of Oxfam’ performs a surprisingly elaborate and intimate study of the act of charity shop browsing, as the poet’s thoughts turn to strangers’ lives and memories.
Like many of Judy Brown’s poems, the title and first lines draw you right in, and then surprise you with a narrative you hadn’t quite expected.
Judy has lived in London and Hong Kong and, having experienced both life in the city and countryside, she is able to portray an original and uncharacteristically unnerving portrayal of both landscapes. Crowd Sensations, much like its author, is an exploration of dazzling contrasts, of thoughtful paradox, intimate confidences and precise evocations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crowd Sensations is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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Friday Poem – ‘Young Summer’, Leslie Norris

Friday Poem Leslie Norris Young Summer

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘Young Summer’ by the prize-winning poet, Leslie Norris.

Leslie Norris Complete Poems‘Young Summer’ is one of the many vivid and captivating poems to be brought together in the landmark Leslie Norris: The Complete Poems, and offers a vision of the poet poised between youth and manhood: ‘Forward is the only way to go’, he reluctantly admits.
The Complete Poems contains 300 of Norris’ poems in total, some previously unpublished, and reflects the sixty plus year publishing life of the late Leslie Norris, who died in 2007, aged 86. Norris was best known as a nature poet and elegist of passion and rare expression. Lyrical and individual, to his closely observed poems, each word weighted and in its correct place, Norris introduces a strong metaphysical element which makes the poems, as Edward Lucie-Smith noted, “much larger than the sum of their parts”.

 

Leslie Norris Friday Poem Young Summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie Norris: The Complete Poems is available on the Seren website: £25.00

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