The Red Man

Snow is falling. Who comes laughing
over the fields? Stars are falling.
Canals are freezing. Who brings
like nothing on his back
the shape of our life, the hopes
of our life, lumped
obdurate in a reindeer skin sack?

Trees are chiming in orchards of glass.
If childhood’s white and cold, then love’s
the overgrown, evergreen dark. Two rings
of apple peel, our fingers dipped in wine.
Two pale root rings from the frozen earth,
your fingers wound in mine.
Our vows we can see on the air.

by Jacob Polley

This is the final Weekly Poem of 2017! We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a lyrical start to 2018. Our poems will resume in late January – thank you for reading in 2017! As well as the launch of ignition , we have some very exciting readings planned for early 2018, so please follow us on social media , keep an eye on our website, or stay tuned to the Weekly Poem for more details!

‘The Red Man’ is copyright © Jacob Polley, 2017. It is reprinted from Christmas Garland: Ten Evergreen Poems (Candlestick Press, 2017) by permission of Candlestick Press.

Notes from Candlestick Press:

Jacob Polley was born and grew up in Cumbria. He has published four books of poems, winning the 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry for his fourth, Jackself. He has also been awarded the 2013 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for The Havocs, and the Somerset Maugham Award for his first novel, Talk of the Town (2009). Jacob teaches at Newcastle University and lives with his family on the North East coast. You can find more about Jacob’s work on his website.

Candlestick Press is a small, independent press based in Nottingham and has been publishing its sumptuous ‘instead of a card’ poetry pamphlets since 2008. Subjects range from Birds and Sheep to Tea, Kindness, Home and Puddings. This year Candlestick is publishing six Christmas titles featuring newly-commissioned poems and a short story by poet Sean O’Brien. You can read more about them on the press’ website. Candlestick Press titles are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, as well as by galleries, museums and garden centres. They can also be ordered online on the Candlestick website, where you can find out more about the full range of titles. You can follow Candlestick on Twitter or find it on Facebook.

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.

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