Some feel rain. Some feel the beetle startle
in its ghost-part when the bark
slips. Some feel musk. Asleep against
each other in the whiskey dark, scarcely there.
When it falls apart, some feel the moondark air
drop its motes to the patch-thick slopes of
snow. Tiny blinkings of ice from the oak,
a boot-beat that comes and goes, the line of prayer
you can follow from the dusking wind to the snowy owl
it carries. Some feel sunlight
well up in blood-vessels below the skin
and wish there had been less to lose.
Knowing how it could have been, pale maples
drowsing like a second sleep above our temperaments.
Do I imagine there is any place so safe it can’t be
snapped? Some feel the rivers shift,
blue veins through soil, as if the smokestacks were a long
dream of exhalation. The lynx lets its paws
skim the ground in snow and showers.
The wildflowers scatter in warm tints until
the second they are plucked. You can wait
to scrape the ankle-burrs, you can wait until Mercury
the early star underdraws the night and its blackest
districts. And wonder. Why others feel
through coal-thick night that deeply colored garnet
star. Why sparring and pins are all you have.
Why the earth cannot make its way towards you.
by Joanna Klink
Two notes from the Poetry Centre… After last semester’s focus on Dinah Roe’s research into Christina Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites, this semester we turn our attention to Eric White’s work on the American avant-gardes, as we continue to highlight the exciting research being carried out here at Oxford Brookes. Join us for ‘Shaking the Lights’, a series of digital events, open to all, and beginning on Thursday 24 February with an online lunchtime discussion group looking at poetry by Langston Hughes. You can find details of that event and the others in the series on the Poetry Centre website.
And if you missed our announcement about our two new ignitionpress poets, you can find more on our website and in a story published in The Bookseller last week. We’re very much looking forward to sharing with you pamphlets by Michaela Coplen and Jacob Ramírez in the summer!
‘Some Feel Rain’ is copyright © Joanna Klink, 2021, and is reprinted here from 100 Poems to Save the Earth (Seren, 2021) by permission of Seren. You can read more about the collection and buy a copy on the Seren website.
Notes from Seren:
Joanna Klink is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Nightfields, which was published by Penguin in July, 2020. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies, including Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now and The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century Poetry. She has received awards and fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, Civitella Ranieri, the Bogliasco Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Trust of Amy Lowell, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She teaches at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. You can learn more about Joanna’s work on her website and follow her on Instagram.
Our climate is on the brink of catastrophic change. 100 Poems to Save the Earth presents a positive and determined impulse to change for the better the way we interact with the environment. This landmark anthology, edited by Kristian Evans and Zoë Brigley, reveals the defining crisis of our time to be fundamentally a crisis of perception. For too long, the earth has been exploited. With its incisive Foreword, this anthology is a call to action to fight the threat facing the only planet we have.
Featuring a selection of renowned contemporary poets from Britain, Ireland, America and beyond, these poems invite us to fine-tune our senses, to listen to the world around us, pay attention to what we have been missing, to remember the forgotten. From rural and urban perspectives, linking issues of social injustice with the need to protect the environment, these poems attend carefully to the new evidence, redraw the maps and, full of trust, keep going, proving that in fact, poetry is exactly what we need to save the earth.
You can find out more about the anthology and buy a copy on the Seren website.
Seren is Wales’ leading independent literary publisher, specialising in English-language writing from Wales. With a list spanning poetry, fiction and non-fiction, many of our books are shortlisted for – and win – major literary prizes across the UK and America. Our aim is not simply to reflect what is going on in the culture in which we publish, but to drive that culture forward, to engage with the world, and to bring Welsh literature, art and politics before a wider audience. At the heart of our list is a beautiful poem, a good story told well or an idea or history presented interestingly or provocatively. We’re international in authorship and readership, though our roots remain here in Wales, where we prove that writers from a small country with an intricate culture have a worldwide relevance.
Since its beginnings in 1981, Seren has developed into one of the most interesting publishing houses in Britain. Based in Bridgend, Seren continues to nurture and publish new talent whose quality is recognised around the world. In 2021 we celebrated our 40th anniversary. We also publish Poetry Wales Magazine and we present the yearly Cardiff Poetry Festival featuring readers from all over the world. Our Managing Editor is Mick Felton, long-time Sales and Publicity Officer is Simon Hicks, Sarah Johnson is our Marketing Officer and Jamie Hill is in Design and Production. Jannat Ahmed is Poetry Wales’ administrative assistant. Find out more by visiting Seren’s website.
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.