Sunday, March 9, 2008

Catherine Edmunds - wormwood, earth and honey

This is a new collection of poems by Catherine Edmunds, who is a long-standing member of Writers' Dock.

Starting from the everyday, these poems turn playfully surreal or dangerous and dark. From formal sonnet and sestina to free verse, her use of language is subtle and skilful. I find more in them with each reading.

This one should appeal to the evil child in each of us.

Here's another one. I remember this clearly from Writers' Dock. Catherine wrote this in 2006, in response to a news item:

over the sea to annan


Catherine Edmunds

sixty cows grazing on skinburness marsh

tired of cumbrian grasses

looked over the water, wondering

at the land across the sea

scotland the brave

scotland the bonny

scotland the only five miles away

what do you reckon, girls?

give it a go?

and then as one

they took to the waters

they swam and they swam and they swam and they swam

across the solway firth to the land of annan

ah, the bravery

the sense of adventure

the foolhardiness of cows

five died during the crossing

and several embarrassed themselves

by becoming stranded on sinking mudflats

where kindly firefighters and coastguards

came to their rescue

farmer bowe

has farmed at silloth

for more than forty years

and is


cattle have grazed on skinburness marsh

for hundreds of years

but this has never happened before

to the best of his knowledge

he will make the trip over the border

and bring his girls back home

he thinks they were spooked by military aircraft

but I wonder

I wonder

maybe they tired of the marshes of silloth

maybe they thought

the grass looks greener and we will away

(singing) speed bonny cow

like a pig on the wing

over the sea to annan

will their milk now have a richness, a wildness

a knowledge of all that might be?

a memory of endeavour, of courage, of strength

of bovine possibility?


bibliobibuli said...

really like this tale of adventurous cows!

thanks so much for dropping by my blog ... and then for linking me here

maybe meet you also on scrabbulous on facebook - though i must warn you i'm crap

sharon bakar(aka bibliobibuli)

aliqot said...

Thanks for calling in. Catherine's stuff is good, really worth dipping into.

As for scrabulous, I tend to use it to keep in touch with my grown up kids - it's yet another addiction though.

Catherine Edmunds said...

Thank you so much for featuring my book. I'm glowing with pride! So pleased you're enjoying it.