behind the lines

– just as you might never
find some white-worn
tongue of soap

long fluffed
beneath basin – or
fine marks of particular

weight penned in their
margin near skip-
bottom or

one flake
falling deep in a
cwm between sheer-set

neighbours of pine – or
with morning still
dark that

barely spoken
to your sleeping ear

by Mario Petrucci

© Mario Petrucci, 2010

i tulips (Enitharmon, 2010), from which this week’s poem is taken, is the new collection from Mario Petrucci, a prize-winning poet who draws upon his knowledge of science and ecology to craft arresting, modernistic verse. i tulips is an adventurous suite of spare, fractal lyrics that reveal hidden depths and complexities under the reader’s microscopic gaze. The poem ‘behind the lines’ is an example of Petrucci’s intense and inventive renovation of closely observed human experience. You can find out more about the book here, and more about Petrucci here and here.

Please note that this poem was originally posted incorrectly formatted – that error has now been corrected, and the poem appears above in its correct form.

Enitharmon Press takes its name from a William Blake character who represents spiritual beauty and poetic inspiration. Founded in 1967 with an emphasis on independence and quality, Enitharmon has been associated with such figures as Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Kathleen Raine. Enitharmon also commissions internationally renowned collaborations between artists, including Gilbert & George, and poets, including Seamus Heaney, under the Enitharmon Editions imprint. Discover more about Enitharmon here.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.