Love poetry: I can’t stand it. I can’t read it and, try as I grudgingly might, I can’t write it either.
However, I came across something on my internet ramblings that struck me as something quite genius-like! This poem won joint-second prize in the 2010 National Poetry Competition.
“Wish” – Josephine Haslam
I give you my wish; my half of the bird’s
fused clavicle picked clean of flesh. I give
you its winged thinness and its seed head curve
to stand for everything I own and love.
And though I want it most to be the one
that brings you back as surely as the bird
that turns for home, it isn’t that.
Nor is it the unearthed bone from Grimm
that speaks the truth and knows its provenance;
but only what we’ve taken from the supermarket hen
we cooked for lunch. Still, it’s this
they say will bring you all you long for.
But if that doesn’t happen, know that every bone I have
is for you a wishing bone and every wish,
for you, the best there is. And if
when it comes down to it and we’re all done
the bone is all that’s left, I’ll give you my tibia
and fibula, the femur, knuckle, pelvic girdle, skull,
this finger with its ring on, spine that holds me up,
every part in fact of the empty cage that’s held
the inner workings of the heart, the breathing lungs.
The bone metaphor is so simple and yet grows and gathers momentum as the poem goes on. Not only is the poem something external, a symbol looked at over dinner, but also a bodily structure and a metaphor of sturdiness and even life after death.
Lately, my metaphors and limited symbolism have been flying a little skew-whiff. So I am going to try and follow Haslam and stick to one idea throughout – maybe overcoming my nausea towards love poetry?