I remember being really excited to see that the Poetry Book Society had chosen Polly Clark’s Take Me with You as their Winter choice in 2005. I’d seen Clark’s poetry in Mslexia and liked it, even if I didn’t really get it at the time. I re-read now, at least six years later, and suddenly a weird poem about someone eating your sandwich (Buffalo Mozzarella) snaps into focus.
I love the start of Women: “I sail into the world of women, / in a magnificent ship that does not interest them.”
One poem, Flights Over Siberia, describes the motion of an aeroplane thus: “And then we tip, with giddy slowness, / like an ice cube or a smooth green olive / drifting through a long, clear gin.”
The poem I’m sharing here is ultimately joyful. I hope you enjoy it. I know someone will.
Its leg was not broken. It was not homeless.
It clenched in my hands, a living flinch.
You cannot love so much and live,
it whispered, its spines clicking like teeth.
I hid it from itself in a cardboard box.
Overnight it nibbled a hole and slipped away.
I cried so much my mother thought I’d never stop.
She said, you cannot love so – and yet
I grew to average size and amused a lot of people
with my prickliness and brilliant escapes.
See the intro/roundup.