Sunday, August 18, 2013


"Prior to his arrival Jean conducted a workshop on his marvellous poem ‘Wintering’ (below). I loved its internal music straight away, all those flinty ‘i’ sounds in the first stanza (‘picture’, ‘him’, ‘flitting’, ‘splints’, ‘rib’, ‘kindle’) setting up a spine of sound that pulses through the entire poem like returning waves of grief (‘listen’, ‘kitchen’, ‘calling’, ‘him’, ‘fizz’, ‘mizzle’, ‘things’, ‘winter’)."

This is exactly how I relate to poetry, I listen to its "internal music".  Thank you, Anthony Wilson.


If I close my eyes I can picture him
flitting the hedgerow for splints
or a rib of wood to kindle the fire,

or reading the snow for whatever
it was that came out of the trees
and circled the house in the night;

if I listen I can hear him out
in the kitchen, scudding potatoes,
calling the cat in; if I breathe

I can smell the ghost of a fire,
a burning of leaves that would fizz
in the mizzle before snow.

There is in this house now
a stillness of cat fur and boxes,
of photographs, paperbacks, waste—

paper baskets; a lifetime
of things that I’ve come here
to winter or to burn.

There is in this world one snow fall.
Everything else is just weather.

Matthew Hollis, from Ground Water (Bloodaxe, 2004)

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