Day Two Hundred and Seventy Eight: A Poem is a Tardis

I’ve mentioned it before, and I’m going to mention it again, but it’s National Poetry Day tomorrow. Here’s a cool interview with British Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy conducted by Stylist Magazine (which I found via the Scottish Poetry Library, so big thanks go to them for finding it)in which she generally waxes lyrical on poetry, the way she composes it and what it means to her.

I’ve never actually attended a poetry reading before, but I hope to sort that out tomorrow.

And to keep with the topic of poetry here is a nice poem about poetry by Iain Crichton Smith. As ever, all rights etc belong to his estate.

A Young Highland Girl Studying Poetry
by Iain Crichton Smith

Poetry drives its lines into her forehead
like an angled plough across a bare field.
I’ve seen here kind before, of the live and dead
who bore humped creels when the beating winds were wild.

Nor did they know much poetry but were skilful
at healing children, bringing lambs to birth.
The earth they lived from did not make them soulful.
The foreign rose abated at their mouth.

Yet they were dancers too and feared the season
when “pale Orion shook the seas with fire.”
Peculiar waters had their inner reasons
for curing wastrels of a mental star.

And she – like them – should grow along these valleys
bearing bright children, being kind to love.
Simple affection needs no complex solace
nor quieter minds abstractions of the grave.

For most must walk though some by natural flying
learn from the bitter winds a kind of praise.
These fruits are different. She will know one dying
but he by many deaths will bless her days.


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