3. Reclining Figure, Angles


If there must be a word
and believe me there must
then it is the word alert

and drawn to what moves
beyond her—where she lies
draped about the knees

with fabric pulled taut again
a way of explaining time
to the eternal moment

as her left leg declines
though no longer passive—
the turn of her left shoulder

towards a strong focal point
leaves the body twisted
on the thrust of her flatplanted

right foot—image
of awareness repeatedly
alertness of an interest in

though there’s nothing
here of the egotistical—
in these graceful airs

in what passes through
as it has through these others
the flex and curve

of self-confident pride
yet hollowed and smoothed
and though the head

is shaped to a feature
still the magisterial gaze
is blankly all-seeing

staring beyond shock
or surprise or pleasure
or anger or envy forever

beyond grief—this curious
taking notice and if it ever
comes to be diminished

I mean the head on its stump
it’s the body that senses
and nothing’s let slip
by Martyn Crucefix

This Friday 12 December, join The Archway Foundation, local poets George Chopping, Kate Byard, and Dan Holloway, and musician Matt Sewell for ‘Rhyme to Change’, a free poetry and music event in support of the Time to Change mental health campaign. The event takes place at 7.30pm at the Albion Beatnik Bookshop on Walton Street in Oxford. All are welcome!

‘3. Reclining Figure, Angles’ is copyright © Martyn Crucefix, 2014. It is reprinted from A Hatfield Mass (Worple Press, 2014) by permission of Worple Press.

Notes from Worple Press:

Martyn Crucefix has won numerous prizes including a major Eric Gregory award and a Hawthornden Fellowship. He has published 5 collections of poetry; the latest, Hurt, was published by Enitharmon in 2010. His translation of Rilke’s Duino Elegies in 2006, shortlisted for the Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation, was hailed as “unlikely to be bettered for very many years” (Magma). His new translation of Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus appeared in 2012. You can read more about A Hatfield Mass on the Worple website, and follow Martyn’s work on his website or on Twitter.

WorplePress was founded by Peter and Amanda Carpenter in 1997 and publishes 6-8 books a year by new and established poets: collections, pamphlets, works in translation, essays, interviews. Early authors included Iain Sinclair, Joseph Woods, Beverley Bie Brahic, Kevin Jackson and the acclaimed American nature poet Peter Kane Dufault. Recent collections (2014/2015) include Andy Brown’s Exurbia, Isabel Galleymore’s Dazzle Ship, Martyn Crucefix’s A Hatfield Mass, Julian Stannard’s The Street of Perfect Love, and Clive Wilmer’s Urban Pastorals. More information can be found at the publisher’s website, and on Facebook and Twitter.

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.