Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 25 June 2018

  • young woman views Chagall

    at Blue Lovers, she is appalled
    in a bright room, that storm colour
    bruises her cotton suit
    the shade of sloe 

    pictured: a face of static
    lips nibbed, eyes closed                       
                                                                  mother
    it is not, in fact, paint’s pressure
    filling, but the nimbus
    in her own chest
    a wilderness, made numb                    
                                                                   it is I

    centre right: a muted harlequin
    with stiffened ruff, the mask
    a blot of dusk
                                                                   whom you clothed

    the young woman touches her cheek
    mimicking the gloved mime
    who cups that of a widow 

    her mother’s fascinator is neat
    leaves, nature hemmed
    indelible as hedgerow
                                                                    so I cannot speak

    as though, in blackthorn
    a spider wove her sack
    to an iron pin
    the young
    never found the world
                                                                     these are my gauzed hands

    the room bright, her suit
    hoards shadows
    tissue in a blue well

    by Gram Joel Davies


    ‘young woman views Chagall’ is copyright © Gram Joel Davies, 2017. It is reprinted from Bolt Down This Earth  (V. Press, 2017) by permission of V. Press.

    You can view Chagall’s 1914 painting Blue Lovers, from which this poem draws inspiration, here.

    Notes from V. Press: 

    Gram Joel Davies grew up in Somerset in the ’80s, overlooking the valley town of Taunton, the Quantock Hills and the edge of Sedgemoor. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Magma, The Moth, Envoi and Lighthouse, and has received listings and commendations from Penelope Shuttle, Peter Oswald, Liz Berry and Carol Ann Duffy. In 2014, he and Hannah Linden won the Cheltenham Poetry Festival Compound collaboration competition. Working with Juncture 25 poets, he attends readings and festivals across the Southwest. Bolt Down This Earth (V. Press) is his first collection. You can read more about it on the V. Press website, and more about Gram’s work on his website. He is also on Twitter

    V. Press publishes poetry and flash fiction that is very very, with emphasis on quality over any particular style. Established with a launch at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2013 and shortlisted in The Michael Marks Publishers’ Award 2017, V. Press poetry knows what it wants to do and does it well. Find out more on the press’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.