Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 16 December 2013

  • Epitaph upon the value of heirlooms

    I do not believe in historical darkness
    or I do but not weaving itself like lasting hurt
    through darkness in the bathroom to find its liberating root in my
    impressionable mind or what my grandma did
    and felt, hurt drank or any of that I drink
    not for an escape into darkness or the genes I parade
    they don't care about me and the feeling's mutual. Yes it's clear
    that darkest things have happened before. In the room
    yesterday after work I got
    home and laid
    myself among the beanbag. My fall brought up
    a cloud of dust I lay watching the sun
    and the dust in the light
    particles in their own lights until in depthless looking
    looked the same as stars or cosmic rays
    (whose origins are unknown) and the pleasure
    of a poem and the pleasure of looking into space
    paralyzed for a long time with a gaggling tongue.
    I decide this morning or hear myself thinking
    I do not believe in historical darkness. Or I hear
    between the bathroom and the past a sinking
    option of inevitability but it's optional.

    Then back in bed I want
    a history of darkness
    to make an us inevitable
    bursting light through and inaction
    and when I think I miss you it's like family.
    Acid of wanting always and how
    much harder it is now.
    Than when I wanted feelings, now
    that when I want it's all. Or that
    I used to want it all now
    only some of it is possible. 

    by Marianne Morris

    The latest Poetry Centre podcast, a special recording made of a reading given by the Forward Prize and Costa Book Award-winner Jo Shapcott, is now available to hear. Visit the podcasts page for more details.

    'Epitaph upon the value of heirlooms' is copyright © Marianne Morris, 2013, and reprinted from her book The On All Things Said Moratoriumpublished by Enitharmon Books in 2013.

    Notes from Enitharmon:

    Marianne Morris studied English at Cambridge to MA level and went on to complete her PhD, concerning the intersection of poetry and politics, at the University of Falmouth. She publishes poetry pamphlets through Bad Press, and has been gaining recognition for her own work for ten years. She lives between London and California. You can read more about her work from her blog.

    Marianne Morris has been writing, performing and publishing poetry for over ten years. The On All Said Things Moratorium is her first collection. Morris writes about the collection thus: 'As the documentation of culture, as the source material of history, and as a medium of resistance, we know that words have the power to shape us. The way that we speak to people shapes the way that they treat us, the way that we speak about ourselves creates certain permissions and impossibilities in our own lives. Therefore, the specific, intentioned, and pointed use of language may also constitute an attempt to change certain ideas - political or otherwise - that depend on language for their perpetuation.' -M.M.

    'William Blake dreamed up the original Enitharmon as one of his inspiriting, good, female daemons, and his own spirit as a poet-­‐artist, printer-­‐publisher still lives in the press which bears the name of his creation. Enitharmon is a rare and wonderful phenomenon, a press where books are shaped into artefacts of lovely handiwork as well as communicators of words and worlds. The writers and the artists published here over the last forty-­‐five years represent a truly historic gathering of individuals with an original vision and an original voice, but the energy is not retrospective: it is growing and new ideas enrich the list year by year. Like an ecologist who manages to restock the meadows with a nearly vanished species of wild flower or brings a rare pair of birds back to found a colony,this publisher has dedicatedly and brilliantly made a success of that sharply endangered species, the independent press.' (Marina Warner.) You can sign up to the publisher's mailing list on the Enitharmon site to receive a newsletter with special offers, details of readings & events and new titles and Enitharmon's Poem of the Month.

    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.