Spring in Hartsop

As though God had risen above the fells
and shown his face, the earth answered…
So long since the sun broke the clouds 

or the hills shone in their veil of air,
and now the thorn, unturning its clusters,
its spokes of flower – the snowdrops 

pushing in rings like choirs, each tilting
its neck, ready to sing. Since you left, I too
have slept in the dark of my body’s 

wintering; but now, by the window,
I can feel my heart hatching; your hand,
gentle, lifting my head to the sun.

by Seán Hewitt

The Poetry Centre has launched the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition for 2021! Our judge this year is the fantastic poet Will Harris, and as usual there are two categories: Open and English as an Additional Language. Winners in each category receive £1000 and runners-up, £200. For more details and to enter, please visit our website.

‘Spring in Hartsop’ is copyright © Seán Hewitt, 2021, and is reprinted here from Ten Poems from the Countryside (Candlestick Press, 2021) by permission of Candlestick. You can read more about the collection and buy a copy on the  Candlestick website.

Notes from Candlestick Press:

Seán Hewitt lives in Dublin where he teaches at Trinity College. His debut collection, Tongues of Fire (Cape, 2020), was an Irish Times Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. A memoir All Down Darkness Wide is forthcoming in 2022. Find out more about Seán’s work on his website and follow him on Twitter.

Candlestick Press is a small, independent press publishing sumptuously-produced poetry pamphlets that serve as a wonderful alternative to a greetings card, with matching envelopes and bookmarks left blank for your message. Their subjects include Clouds, Walking, Birds, Home and Kindness. Candlestick Press pamphlets are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, galleries and garden centres nationwide and available to order online. In 2019, Candlestick sold over 100,000 pamphlets, supporting its nominated charities with donations equivalent to around 49% of pre-tax net profit. Since 2008, nearly 600,000 pamphlets have been sold, which means that some six million poems have been read via its publications.

Find out more about the press on the Candlestick website and follow the press on 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.