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Poem by Annie Freud

Annie Freud (centre) with poets Roisin Tierney and Liane Strauss

Eyewear is very glad to revisit this earlier post, and update it for the Friday before the Christmas holidays. Today, I welcome Annie Freud to these pages. As readers of this blog will know, I earlier this year championed her debut collection from Picador, arguing its many strengths. I believe it was one of the best poetry collections published in the UK in 2007, and among the most surprising, inventive, and witty.

Freud studied English and European Literature at the University of Warwick and now lives in London. Her poems have been published in Poems for a Better Future (Oxfam), Gobby Deegan's Riposte from Donut Press, Future Welcome, and various magazines like Magma.

Annie is one of a group of very fine poets based in London, who have, over the years, studied the art and craft of writing with Michael Donaghy, and then John Stammers.

A Residential Guinevere

Emboldened by green-gowned carnality and a plucked dome, we call for dressing table mirrors to be placed upon our altars, in accordance with the Spirit of the Rock of Baroque. We have paid in advance and must change our lives.

We could get to reappraise the hypereality of artificial fruit, especially the gleam on the grapes and the peach’s fuzzy globe. Would we get hung up on a configuration of turrets? Or is it the rack of disbelief we’re on, or is it the junction between onomancy and grief that buys our compliance?

And, if one of our circle breaks down and cries on Day 2, the chance acquisition of a set of second-hand golf clubs or, in the very last resort, a bentwood loveseat that has seen much life, might wake in us thoughts contingent to Forgiveness Valley. The steam from the laundry and the chunk of the woodcutter’s axe will be our moral base.

Minutes pass; the illusion of connectedness caves in and each now goes his separate way, either in the closed circuitry of will or in vacuity of the mind, but always propped, always with a vehicle, be it an envied pencil case, a display of knowledge of the history of the holiday, or a bolt of yellow silk outside the cash-and-carry in the town, a reminder of sensuous life back in the real world.

Even so, there comes a time where each one, from within the unpruned coppice of his wounded loves, will hear his fetish-queen call out his name and take a stroll with her along meandering paths to view the dusty mirror of the lake, and on to higher, and yet higher ground, where the wild garlic thrives in shimmering grass whose uses are limited by nothing.

poem by Annie Freud
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