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 – ‘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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Poem – ‘How to make a good crisp sandwich’, Katherine Stansfield

Friday Poem How to make a good crisp sandwich

Did you know it’s British Sandwich Week, 20-26 May? Yes – there really is a day (or week) for everything. And in celebration, our Friday Poem is Katherine Stansfield’s ‘How to make a good crisp sandwich’.

playing house katherine stansfieldThis is a poem that really does what it says on the tin: ‘crisps don’t work alone’, the poet warns, then proceeds to carefully list the potential permutations of this most British of sandwiches. ‘Who does this sandwich want to be?’ You may not have asked yourself this question before – so grab the bread, open a pack of crisps, and ponder.
Katherine Stansfield’s poetic debut, Playing House is marked by a concise wit, a distinct voice and an unsettling view of the domestic.
‘Striking imagery, strange leaps of thought, wit and menace aside, the unmistakeable thrill of Katherine Stansfield’s poetry is in the voice. It addresses the world directly, takes it personally, and comes at the reader from constantly unexpected angles, a tangible, physical thing.’ Philip Gross

 

Friday Poem Katherine Stansfield How to make a good crisp sandwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Poem – ‘Hues’, Elizabeth Parker

Friday Poem Hues Elizabeth Parker

Our Friday poem this week is ‘Hues’ by Elizabeth Parker, from her recently released debut collection, In Her Shambles.

‘Hues’ is a shimmering, lyrical account of a river journey that highlights Parker’s artful skill with language and surrealist imagery.
In Her Shambles is a ‘radiantly-written’ collection from a ‘rising star of British poetry’ (David Morley), filled with poems that are emotionally rich, vibrant and original. From the alternative reimagining of Lavinia from ‘Titus Andronicus’ through to the collection’s opening, ‘Crockery’, where a potential lover is fragmented into reflections, In Her Shambles offers a fascinating, observational account of things seen aslant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Her Shambles is available from the Seren website: £9.99

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Friday Poem – ‘Penguin Love’, Nerys Williams

On Wednesday the world celebrated its cutest holiday, World Penguin Day, so in continued praise of these adorable birds our Friday Poem this week is ‘Penguin Love’ by Nerys Williams.

Nerys Williams Sound ArchiveTaken from Nerys’ 2011 collection Sound Archive, ‘Penguin Love’ is a vibrant and evocative portrait of black, white and yellow – of curiously wistful creatives who stand ‘angled at constellations’ and ache for the gift of a perfect smooth stone – the symbol of budding penguin romance.
Sound Archive was shortlisted for both the Forward Best First Collection Prize and the Michael Murphy Prize, and won the Poetry Now / Mountains to Sea DLR Strong Award. This is a strikingly original debut in which the poet conjures a complex music, intriguing narratives, and poems full of atmosphere that query identity, gender, and the dream of art as a vehicle for emotion and meaning.

 

 

World Penguin Day poem Penguin Love Nerys Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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