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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Poem of the Week: Anna Lewis





This week's poem taken from a recent collection is from Anna Lewis's pamphlet published in July, The Blue Cell, a sequence of poems exploring the lives of a number of early medieval Welsh saints.  Melangell, who fled from Ireland to Powys to escape an unwanted marriage here shelters a hare from hunters.  Hares are a rarer sight than they were but they are still seen occasionally, and we sometimes see them near to the home of Rack Press in Powys.

The Blue Cell can be ordered here for immediate dispatch, £5 post-free.






Melangell


Its heart was quick against her thigh,
then slowed.  She felt the hitching rhythm
of its ribs subside, kept her own breath 

as she heard the dogs pant close, 
their narrow bodies slit the bracken.  
Birds swung up from the slope

and marked the line of their approach;
the saplings shook, then from the trees 
poured horses, men in red and gold.  

And it was the same as the day 
she first stepped onto the sea,
handed herself to the waves 

and to the will of God: brash sunlight 
thrown back, the green earth 
tipping under her feet.  Not so much 

bravery, not so much faith 
as a small, dull light that scratched 
into life in her chest, then grew

until she could not see around its edge.  
Beyond, there was quiet.  The hare
dropped its head to its paws, and slept.


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