Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Yare Song: Poetry in (river) motion

Julia Webb

EVER been on those riverboat trips which leave from Norwich and head downriver? Poet Julia Webb did and came back inspired. Inspired to write Yare Song:

The river flows on
surges over and under me,
marsh lover, mud flipper
down amongst the groundlings,
moorhens, blue-lights,

I am scaled and slithered:
strings of weed for hair,
dipping my shade-fingers
amongst bubbles and eddies,
spark-netted on the meanderings
of the mind’s own river,

hearing the shadow-ghosts
of all those drowned girls: witches,
dipped down deep amongst
the slippery tendrils,
swan-necked lovelies
warbling in the reeds,    singing.

As you leave the city, Julia explains, “the skipper gives a commentary about wildlife and river history and on the way back he leave you to your own thoughts. I found it really inspirational for writing and although I began by writing about the natural aspects of the river I found my mind wandering to the darker history of rivers dunking women to see if they were witches etc. There is something timeless and mystical about river travel somehow.” Hear, hear. Thanks to Julia for allowing me to publish Yare Song. Do we think she’s got the gig as the Wherryman’s Way Poet Laureate? Either way you can find her blog here. And thanks too to Cameron Self at Literary Norfolk for the shout. 

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