My Lethe, motionless between green thicketsWhere flags prick up their rust-stained saffron ears,You hear no splash of oars, no dust-up of lost soulsExcept for dragon-flies a-spin, and tadpolesThat hang like little mud-bubbles, expectingTheir childhood gloom to lift, and life bounce up in them.Your spirit’s airless, Lethe; boot-top-deep,You’re less ditch than a mouthful of salivaDrained by a dental tube. So why this leaningTo breathe into your film of suspect glitters,And leave my slutty kiss? The final flutter onPosterity? Perhaps a faster currentWashes the tubers, where my hair would tangleAnd pass, and finally drag me to pure water.I’d travel free of earth, rapid and weightlessAnd miles out of my depth, my shadow flingingnorth and north, my coughed-up lungs your rattlesTo play with till their fragments swam like tadpoles.I’d find my cold Elysium, and to keep.
by Carol Rumens
'The Tadpole Goddess' is copyright © Carol Rumens, 2010. It is reprinted from De Chirico’s Threads, published by Seren Books, 2010.
A poet, novelist, translator, and editor, Carol Rumens
was born in South London in 1944. She started writing at school and
went on to study (and drop out from) a philosophy degree at London
University. She has won many awards for her writing and is a Fellow of
the Royal Society of Literature. Rumens's latest collection, De Chirico's Threads,
features a play-for-voices about the life of the painter Giorgio de
Chirico, as well as a number of occasional poems, such as ‘The Tadpole
Goddess’. You can read a number of other poems from the new collection
at the link to the book above. In addition to her own work, Carol Rumens
selects and comments upon another poet's writing each week in her blog
on the Guardian website here. She also maintains a website here.
Seren is based in Wales ('Seren' means 'star' in
Welsh) and recently celebrated its 30th birthday. Begun as an offshoot
of the magazine Poetry Wales by Cary Archard and Dannie Abse in the latter’s garage in Ogmore-by-Sea,
the press has now grown and employs a number of staff. It is known for
publishing prize-winning poetry, including collections by recent Forward
winners, Hilary Menos and Kathryn Simmonds, as well as books by Owen
Sheers, Pascale Petit, Deryn Rees-Jones, and many others. The fiction
list features a new title by Patrick McGuinness, The Last Hundred Days,
that was longlisted for the Booker Prize. The high-quality arts books
include the recent collaboration between the poet John Fuller and the
photographer David Hurn, Writing the Picture. For more details about Seren, visit the publisher's new website, where there is a blog about Seren's news and events. You can also find Seren on Facebook and on Twitter: @SerenBooks.
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