30 APRIL 2020
Anyone locked down but seeking solace in their garden or allotment will enjoy this second poem suggested by the Poetry Book Society. Members will find it in their own area of the website and should log in and read it there along with all sorts of other items pertinent to the Lock down!
GARDEN BY LINDA ANDERSON
Think of it as a notebook. The raggedness
and blossoming together. A way of entering,
belated, scattered, wind-blown.
Your hands are lined with earth before you know it.
You scoop up handfuls, rest your eye
on a particular nowhere. The same bloom has
multiple silences. Seasons do not matter
not now you are inside a parenthesis,
drilling down under layers of weather.
Who knows, it could happen again like this
or not quite like this. You will drive
over the brow of the hill. You will hear
the curlew’s song and it will wake something.
It will be a sort of beginning.
From The Station Before by Linda Anderson (Pavilion Poetry/Liverpool University Press, 2020)
This week’s Poetry Book Society offering, a beautiful poem 'Garden' by Linda Anderson from her newly released collection, The Station Before, is a reminder to find the green around us. Although written long before lockdown the image of living ‘inside a parenthesis’ feels like the perfect description for our current state of bracketed being. There is something truly hopeful and inspiring about the final line of this poem which takes on new resonance in these troubled times: ‘You will hear / the curlew's song and it will wake something. / It will be a sort of beginning’. So let’s enjoy the sort of beginnings blossoming around us - whether it's a forgotten houseplant or a tree glimpsed from a window - and find the future promise in a Spring bloom. The Station Before is available to order here with 25% off for PBS Members. For more poetic inspiration and quarterly poetry parcels delivered straight to your door, join the Poetry Book Society.
Linda Anderson is Professor of English and American Literature at Newcastle University where she was the founder of both the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (2009) and the annual Newcastle Poetry Festival. Her published work includes Elizabeth Bishop: Lines of Connection (Edinburgh University Press 2013), The Contemporary Poetry Archive: Essays and Interventions (Edinburgh University Press, 2019), and a poetry pamphlet, Greenhouse, with Mariscat Press, 2013.