Underworld – UEA Undergraduate Anthology

A quick update on poetry stuff! I now have an author page on newwriting.net, and my poem ‘Body’ (published in the UEA Undergraduate Anthology) can be found on their site here

When I go back to university in a few weeks, I’ll be starting my dissertation. Hopefully I’ll be able to share bits with you now or later, but I need to check whether that’s legit with my tutor first, so possibly later. The plan is to write a sequence of poems exploring the relationship between poetry and landscape, with a focus on the physicality of the poem as reflection/in relation to landscape, using the poems as a way to discuss my ideas on the subject. I’m very excited to be starting it – I think I’ve come up with something which brings together a lot of my academic interests, the poets I’m reading at the moment and the direction I want to take my writing in, so this is a big thing for me. 

I don’t have much to share at the moment, but I do have this from a few weeks back. It’s a rough first draft of some thoughts on the archaeological dig I’ve been working on over the summer, which has been a great place to mull over thoughts on landscape and people. (Also swearing and blisters, but mostly deep thoughts. Mostly.)

Excavation

No greater place than this:
to watch a topless squaddie flick
ash in absent lines down
his rooted hoe to ground,
and hear those few new human voices
call kestrel over the site:
tea’s up, diggers, come
from the spreading pit with aching arms,
share your spoils.
To her a pot-fragment;
it’s turned over, talked of like
a new baby. Here a coin,
here wall, here just sweat and tread
patting the new-turned earth back
to concrete, hoe’d, searched,
earthed again in the slag-barrow ride
to the pit where it’s dumped,
with the stony bores who tell
long dull stories of pressure,
time passing in fields’ lardy seams.

Call kestrel: in this pocket place
we’re jumbled together, old men
walking through the fields with girls
and soldiers, old diggers
and young hands all thumbs
and pinkness in the August sun,
swooping over dry trenches
between verdant swathes of barley,

and it’s in the looking, the place
we’ve seen on technical drawings,
in words and waves of knowing arms,
and yet

I don’t know where to look –

the stony ground, speckled with brick & tile,
the mud, the slag, the earth –

or aside, the old man’s scars from titanium knees,
the dusty shorts, the boots, the burns,
the squaddie smoking as he sieves for finds.

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