Suzannah V. Evans, University of Durham
The following series of poems was inspired by a visit to the exhibition
The following series of poems was inspired by a visit to the exhibitionVirginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by her Writings at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, and more specifically, the poems are based on the piece Marine Object by Eileen Agar. A further series of these poems has been published in The London Magazine.
Laura Knight, The Dark Pool (1917), exhibited at Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by her Writings at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.
[Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. © Reproduced with permission of The Estate of Dame Laura Knight DBE RA 2018. All Rights Reserved.]
A how though?
A how though a why though a balancing though
a salty pointed spiny balancing though
a thing on top of a thing though (on top of a thing)
and many things close and breathing together.
Barnacles balancing though tightly balancing
breathing and balancing and barnacled
brittle blushes all spiny and together and a beginning
beginning to merge the brittle blushing objects, all briny.
A how though, a rose though, a sea though, a brittle, an a.
Waves Break When You Pick Them Up
and this one broke as we pulled up our nets
the twine a-shine in the southern sunlight
we picked them up and pulled and made motions
to disturb the sea and break its thought pattern
to disturb its thick-cut cloth with our own ripples
as we disturbed the air with our speech noises.
And look! a terracotta breaking of the surface
a fragment of pot? jug? horn? handles? ancient?
is it ancient is it ancient or is it just a pot?
that’s what we thought as we dredged it up.
Give Me Your Two Hands and I’ll Show You an Amphora
although you cannot touch its salt.
a tiny moment on a jug
[voiced by a barnacle]
that’s all I had, a tiny moment, a tiny briny moment
to latch and suck and slickly stick
when I saw it, when I saw it heavy and stuck in the sand
one handle lifted as if to say, take me, hand
I knew that the ambulatory period of my life was over
and that before me was my amphora, amplifying
the motions of the sea and, sessile is as sessile does,
I made my tiny briny home, encrusting myself
cementing myself, gluing myself down
with my tiny briny antennae
forehead up, tiny briny forehead up.