05 January 2017

Poetry Thursday - My Father's Hair by Deryn Rees-Jones

The best way to encounter this poem is through the ear, and you can hear the poet, Deryn Rees-Jones, reading it at poetryarchive.org/poem/my-fathers-hair.

You'll see immediately that it's based on Christopher Smart's "For my Cat Jeoffrey", and much as I like the Jeoffrey poem, this one takes the emotional cake (so to speak). And it wears its wit lightly:
For it has a grave insouciance,
What they call in Sassoon's "a natural air".
It's from Signs Round a Dead Body (Seren, 1998), which "was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. In a review, Anthony Wilson wrote: "Most admirable about her work is that she goes for it in nearly every poem, truthfully and unashamedly singing. One of her titles, 'What It's Like To Be Alive,' could summarize her whole project." "

The Poetry Archive site also says: "Born in Liverpool in 1968, Rees-Jones spent time back and forth between Liverpool and a family home in Eglwysbach in North Wales. After reading English at the University of Wales, Bangor, she did doctoral research on women poets at Birkbeck College, University of London. Bloodaxe published the highly-praised fruit of this pioneering research Consorting with Angels, along with the anthology Modern Women Poets (2005). Both books bring to light the virtuosity of two centuries of British and American women's poetry."

In case you were wondering about Vitalis ...

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