Bonfire on the Beach

Tragedy was short-lived:
where the pine log had split its sides

dying, a spider elbowed out
and flared a brief nothing.

Old as planets the four faces
round this sun. A smudge

on the sand, like a mistake,
will mean we’ve gone.

by Jennie Feldman

‘Bonfire on the Beach’ is copyright © Jennie Feldman, 2005. It is reprinted from The Lost Notebook (2005) by permission of Anvil Press.

Notes from Anvil Press:

Jennie Feldman was born in South Africa, grew up in London and graduated from Oxford, where she studied French. Her translations from Jacques Réda, Treading Lightly: Selected Poems 1961-1975, are also published by Anvil. A former award-winning radio producer and presenter, she is married with two children and lives in Israel. Her new collection Swift will be published by Anvil in April 2012.

In her first collection The Lost Notebook, from which ‘Bonfire on the Beach’ comes, visually arresting and subtly musical poems range from Scotland and the Hebrides to Paris, the Mediterranean and Israel, capturing resonant details and moments and shaping them into a quizzical coherence. Like the small ghost that circles into lamplight in ‘Moth’, the poems are on the wing, “sourcing the radiance of things” in response to the dark. A lost notebook inspires a sequence that interweaves themes of sea, music, memory, love and the charge of language.

Anvil Press, founded in 1968, is based in Greenwich, south-east London, in a building off Royal Hill that has been used at various points in its 150-year history as a dance-hall and a printing works. Anvil grew out of a poetry magazine which Peter Jay ran as a student in Oxford and retains its small company ethos.

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