The ‘”Brother with the Hair’s Better Half” excelled and sent me a collection of poems.
This beautiful book was launched this evening at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.
“Last March” is Kiran’s first full collection and was produced in collaboration with the Scott Polar Research Institute to mark the centenary of Captain Scott’s final expedition to the South Pole. This collection examines the well told story of Scott’s last ill fated expedition; however it manages to retell it in a way that gives those events a fresh perspective.
Seems to start from the sea.
The waves ride up to meet the moon
And the sky thrums,
Dissipates into a rolling grey,
Smashes itself against the water,
Cracks with an egg-shell ease
To spill out a birthing of rain and thunder
That throttles the pumps to a slow ooze.
On deck, the men plunge
As the poop sinks waist-high,
Churn their legs through the sucking deep
And chase the ends of ropes
To lash the coal bags, rescue the ponies
As they wash over,
Necks snapped by their tethers
Or lost to the grappling ocean.
Peace comes slowly.
The sea quells itself to a gentle rock
And the pumps find their bite in the submersion,
Sound out their suction and
Return the water back,
Whilst in the forenoon
The fires are laid and lighted,
The losses noted and counted –
’10 tons of coal,
65 gallons of petrol,
and a case of biologist’s spirit’
The day was new when we arose and relearned our fingers.
Gulls skulled the wind over our heads
As we pissed.
I imagine your hands, pale as the ground.
Remembering your warmth is wrong here,
As though you exist somewhere souther still.
In this strange, whirling place,
Intemperate as rock,
I come to realise I knew nothing of loneliness.
from “Last March” Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Pindrop Press 2012
It’s a wonderful collection and I recommend it highly.
You can order it HERE