Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 15 February 2016

  • Studio Flat

    Socks hang like bats from a skylight.
    They may be dry in time for the moon.
    The camp site owner’s water-feature
    drains more blood from the sun.

    Cars queue for the narrow bridge.
    Birds catch their pulses and fly.

    I am suddenly old. What’s an attic
    but a bungalow in the sky.

    And where are you, my sons?

    I heard your voices in the bells

    of snowdrops pulled by the wind.
    These tulips have lost their smell.

    Perhaps I could tell you, one day

    where the snowdrops went, why old men
    dry their socks on the moon, and what
    darkened the skylight, just then.

    by Paul Henry


    This Friday from 6-8pm in the John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre, the Poetry Centre presents its inaugural International Poetry Competition awards event, which will include readings by the winners and by the judge, Hannah Lowe. More details can be found on the Centre's website.  All are welcome, but RSVP asap please to poetrycomp@brookes.ac.uk

    ‘Studio Flat’ is copyright © Paul Henry, 2015. It is reprinted from Boy Running (Seren, 2015) by permission of Seren Books.

    Boy Running is the artful new collection of poems by Paul Henry and the first to follow his widely praised: The Brittle Sea: New and Selected Poems. Also a singer-songwriter Henry is known for his precise lyricism, intimate tone and a cast of characters inspired (like Dylan Thomas) by his childhood by the sea in Aberystwyth, West Wales. Commenting on Henry’s work, Hugo Williams has written: ‘With the purity of a sixteenth-century poet, Paul Henry lets fall his beautiful lyrics like cloaks in the mud of every day. Effortless epiphanies and images gradually break open, releasing a strange power, a dark ocean of longing and loss. His poetry deepens our perception of the world.’ Read more about Boy Running on Seren’s site, and more about Henry on his own website.

    Paul Henry came to poetry through songwriting. He has read and performed his work at literary festivals across Europe, Asia and the USA. A popular Creative Writing tutor, Henry has lectured at the University of South Wales and led courses at writers’ centres in the UK and France. Also a broadcaster, Paul Henry has written and presented arts programmes for BBC Radio Wales, Radio 3 and Radio 4.

    Seren is an independent publisher based in Wales. Founded in 1981 to publish poetry discovered by the then-editor of Poetry Wales magazine, Cary Archard. Under Managing Editor Mick Felton the press now publishes a broad range of fiction, non-fiction, and criticism. Amy Wack has been Poetry Editor at Seren for over 20 years. During that time, poets published by Seren have won or been shortlisted for the Costa, Forward, T.S. Eliot and Aldeburgh Prizes. ‪You can find out more about Seren on the publisher’s website.

    Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.