Tuesday, 25 April 2017

poetry 2017 / 080

In 1958, the philosopher/critic Gaston Bachelard wrote a book called The Poetics of Space, about the emotional relationship that people have with particular kinds of spaces – the insides of sea shells, drawers, nooks, and all the various parts of houses. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that explores a small, defined space – it could be your childhood bedroom, or the box where you keep old photos. It could be the inside of a coin purse or the recesses of an umbrella stand. Any space will do – so long as it is small, definite, and meaningful to you.

Stands for Comfort

Mother's wardrobe was filled with furs
but there was no back way into Narnia
no matter how hard I looked.
A darkness filled with musk
the softness of pelts
the scent of my mother.
I could almost imagine she was holding me close
her voice murmuring comfort,
still alive.
But she was long dead
and I was no Son of Adam or Daughter of Eve
to claim a throne at Caer Paravel,
Just a lonely White Witch
in the darkness of a wardrobe
and the scent of old musk.

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