In the Orchard of Pomegranates

Then you wonder, astonished, who am I? I am a mustard seed in the middle of the sphere of the moon.
Moses Cordovero, Or Ne’erav (The Sweet Light), trans. Ira Robinson

When I was a girl, holy in sending,
alive in receiving, I knew a word
was, like an angel, flaming, both message
and messenger.

Electric the flowerin my eye, the opening of the heart:
if ‘house’ is a prison, ‘home’ is a latticed
(look up) constellation. At such elevation,
this is return under you the harvest moon.                                                


I have nothing withheld in my hands, but
nothing. Doubled. The seed of. Your wish for.

by Sophie Mayer

Two notes from the Centre: on Friday 20 November there will be a free poetry workshop in Oxford on the theme of ‘history’, led by experienced poets. From myths, collective stories or personal narratives, what does history mean to you? To join, email your name and affiliation to The workshop will take place from 3-5pm
 in the Old Library, University Church of St Mary the Virgin, High St, Oxford, OX1 4BJ.

And on Wednesday 25 November, the Centre is hosting a spoken word/open mic event in the Main Lecture Theatre, Clerici Bldg, Gipsy Lane on the Headington campus. All are welcome to this event, which will feature numerous local poets and a set from Maddie Godfrey (Australian National Poetry Slam Finalist, 2015). You can find more details and register your interest via the Facebook page.
 ‘In the Orchard of Pomegranates’ is copyright © Sophie Mayer, 2015. It is reprinted from (O) (Arc Publications, 2015) by permission of Arc Publications.

Notes from Arc Publications:

Sophie Mayer 
is a writer, editor and educator. Her poetry has been translated into Russian, Greek, Dutch, and Japanese, and has appeared on poster hoardings in Dublin and as part of Yoko Ono’s Meltdown 2013. Previous collections include Her Various Scalpels (Shearsman, 2009), The Private Parts of Girls (Salt, 2011), Kiss Off (Oystercatcher, 2011) and signs of the sistership (with Sarah Crewe, KFS, 2013). She is a film critic and scholar, author of The Cinema of Sally Potter, and (for the Oxford Handbook on Contemporary British and Irish Poetry), ‘Cinema Mon Amour’, the definitive essay on British poetry and film. 

(O) is Sophie Mayer’s fourth published poetry collection. Energetic, determined, politicised, contemporary and classical. Brimming with wit, these poems endeavour into the challenges, obstacles and successes which accompany the path into womanhood. A powerful poetic voice, which serves as a testament to the women who live in the cracks of history. You can read more about the book on the Arc website, and more about the author on her own site. You can also follow her on Twitter.

Since it was founded in 1969, Arc Publications has adhered to its fundamental principles – to introduce the best of new talent to a UK readership, including voices from overseas that would otherwise remain unheard in this country, and to remain at the cutting edge of contemporary poetry. Arc also has a music imprint, Arc Music, for the publication of books about music and musicians. As well as its page on Facebook, you can find Arc on Twitter. Visit Arc’s website to join the publisher’s mailing list, and to find full details of all publications and writers. Arc offers a 10% discount on all books purchased from the website (except Collectors’ Corner titles). Postage and packing is free within the UK.

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.