About the poet
Lavinia Greenlaw (b. 1962) is a Londoner by birth and has lived in the city for much of her life...
A flood as the day releases
and the whole snow world
is neither wet nor deep, but primary.
Colour so inherent, it does not fall
but rises from my skin,
the snow, the trees, the road.
This blue isn't built or grown.
It has no tissue, nothing
to touch or taste or bring to mind
a memory, no iris or artery,
no gentian, aconite or anemone,
no slate, plum, oil-spill or gun,
no titanium or turquoise,
no mercury or magnesium,
no phosphorus, sapphire or silver foil,
no duck egg or milk jug,
no chambray, denim or navy,
no indigo, octopus ink, no ink,
no element. The blue moment,
sininen hetki in a language that claims
no relation but greets in passing
picture blue, cyan. Ultraviolet
twilight, higher than the heaven
of swimming or flying - no splash.
A time without clouded objects,
in which you might become the glass
you swallowed through cold.
Light draws back
behind the rim of the eye as it closes.
I keep my distance, as things turn blue
through stillness and distance,
as everything blue is distant.
From Minsk, (Faber & Faber, 2003), copyright © Lavinia Greenlaw 2003, used by permission of the author and the publisher.
Lavinia Greenlaw Reading from her poems