Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 24 June 2013

  • Slow Rock

    slow rock
    being limestone
    for rain
    pockets springy needles
    is not the sea
    but sounding its breath
    in an airy maze
    where woodpeckers
    up the tempo
    & who’s that
    red-capped, furtive
    (other hand gripped
    to his mobile)

    shrinks him

    shoals of bedrock
    leaping mid-city
    console our short-lived
    you can’t ride out
    on these smooth backs
    for a while
    (the skyline livid)

    by Jennie Feldman

    Two announcements! This Friday 28 June 2013, Oxford is host to an exciting poetry event: 'Irregular Folk Does Poetry', which features the talents of a number of visiting and local poets, including Jack Underwood, Amy Blakemore, William Davies, and Charlotte Geater. The event will take place at the Perch on Binsey Lane in Oxford, and begins at 7.30pm.

    And Oxford Brookes is currently displaying The Booker Prize, 1969-2008: an exhibition. Visit Oxford Brookes University's Glass Tank exhibition space in the Abercrombie Building on Gipsy Lane between 17 June and 14 July to see this new exhibition, which is both an introduction to the fantastic material housed in the archive and a reflection upon Brookes' role as custodian of the archive for a decade.

    'Slow Rock' is copyright © Jennie Feldman, 2012. It is reprinted by permission of Anvil Press from Swift (Anvil Press, 2012).

    Notes from Anvil Press:

    In Jennie Feldman's second collection, Swift, the earth-shy bird of the title flies high above the territorial rivalries of its region. From the Middle East, Swift ranges across Europe to Scotland, always on the lookout for what coheres in the world and its telling encounters – with a Greek beekeeper, a cello maestro, lone figures on society's margins, the Latin poet Lucretius in an East Jerusalem café. Buoyed by music as well as water, notably the Aegean Sea and the rare rains of the eastern Mediterranean, these poems combine delicacy and vigour in their pursuit of an elusive equilibrium.

    Jennie Feldman was born in South Africa, grew up in London and graduated from Oxford, where she studied French. A Hawthornden Fellow, she lives in Jerusalem and Oxford. Her first collection, The Lost Notebook, was also published by Anvil, as were her translations from Jacques Réda, Treading Lightly: Selected Poems 1961-1975, and the bilingual anthology Into the Deep Street: Seven Modern French Poets 1938-2008, co-edited and translated with Stephen Romer and shortlisted for the Popescu Prize 2011. You can read another selection from Swift on Anvil's website.

    Anvil Press, founded in 1968, is based in Greenwich, south-east London, in a building off Royal Hill that has been used at various points in its 150-year history as a dance-hall and a printing works. Anvil grew out of a poetry magazine which Peter Jay ran as a student in Oxford and retains its small company ethos. Visit Anvil's website here, where you can sign up to their mailing list to find out about new publications and events.

    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.