Lent 6: The Mourner

Today I am actually sharing work from a poet whose collection I haven’t bought. Yet.

Zoe Brigley studied and taught at Warwick University while some good friends of mine were there, and her new collection, Conquest, is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation this quarter. This is where I found these excerpts to share, but I can assure you I’ll be making a purchase soon!

Apparently the collection makes several references to the Brontë sisters, and “explores diverse worlds and a shifting female cast” (so say the PBS Selectors) and I’m excited to read it. The PBS Bulletin doesn’t really give much away, but includes this lovely snippet from The Love of a Husband: “Because he never, ever hesitated. / Because when she shuts a window, he opens a door.”

The poem below is another melancholy one – the second verse has been haunting me since I first read it almost two weeks ago.

     The Mourner

     “I’ve lived the parting hour to see””
         – Charlotte Brontë On the Death of Anne Brontë

     On Scarborough Beach,
     I stand on the sand and crows
     fly out of my dress.

     For long years, instead
     of a heart, I’ve had a red eye
     that watched and scries.

     Somewhere is a house
     with an ocean view: a crone
     that sits on the porch.

     I sit on the stoop
     by the sea and my stockings
     and dress are all black.

     But even now, love
     grows: an anemone tongue
     in her mouth, my mouth.

     Under my skirt, she’s
     beating her wings, breaking me
     apart, setting me free.

See the intro/roundup.

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3 Responses to Lent 6: The Mourner

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