Following on from the post of Angela Topping's poem 'Noost', from her collection 'Five Petals of Elderflower', I'm pleased to host another guest poet Lucy Anderson and her poem, also titled 'Noost'. As Lucy explains below, the poem came from a poetry workshop in Wales, with my friend and acclaimed poet Pascale Petit.
This was written whilst on a’ Working with Myth’ workshop at Ty Newydd Writing Centre
Thinking in particular of family myths, myths of origin, I had been thinking of the myth around my very premature birth in 1969 and the myth my mother has upheld that the big nurse told her ‘I was strong and to be treated that way’. In the workshop, I was given a postcard of the art sculpture ‘ Noost’ and this poem was born.
And what if the midwife had spoken
a different language – a Shetland tongue
to my mother,
when I weighed as a bag of sugar
in my father’s butcher-hands.
What if she had said
this baby girl,
though carved and curved, is softwood,
don’t let the bilge water fill her,
keep her moored on dry land.
As I said in the previous Noost post, it is wonderful when another piece of art is influenced by a piece of work you have created, and I felt very honoured when Pascale asked if she could use the wee assemblage to inspire the poets in her workshops to produce new work, especially when she first used it at Ted Hughes' former home in Mytholmroyd.
Lucy's poem will feature in her forthcoming pamphlet, 'Legacy', which will be published by Cinnamon Press in February 2018. To find out more about Lucy and her work, follow this link to the Cinnamon Press website.