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Poem introduction

Every year the curlews would come back to the land of Mynydd Bach. They'd always return at the beginning of March and every year I would try to capture the haunting cry in words.

Curlew

Curlew

The curve of its cry -
A sculpture
Of the long beak:
A spiral carved from bone.

It is raised
quickening
From the ground,
Is wound high, and again unwound,
down
To the stalker nodding
In a marshy field.

It is the welling
Of a cold mineral spring,
Salt from the estuary
Dissolved, sharpening
The fresh vein bubbling on stone.

It is an echo
Repeating an echo
That calls you back.

It looses
Words from dust till the live tongue
Cry: This is mine
Not mine, this life
Welling from springs
Under ground, spiralling
Up the long flight of bone


From Cut of the Light: Poems 1965-2005, (Enitharmon Press, 2006), copyright © Jeremy Hooker 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Jeremy Hooker Reading from his poems

1Landscape of the Daylight Moon

2Matrix

3Prospect Of Boldre Church

4Gull On A Post

5<i>From</i> Englishman's Road

6Curlew

7At Ovington

8Steps

9Red King's Dream

10Black on Gold

11A new love poem

12In praise of windmills

13Westerbork

14Bethlehem

15<i>From</i> Earth Song Cycle: Written in clay

16'That trees are men walking'

17<i>From</i> Seven Songs: Cyane

18<i>From</i> Seven Songs: Groundless She Walks

19Not Like Icarus

20For A Woman Who Said She Could Fall In Love With A Boat

21<i>Sections from</i> Arnolds Wood

22Strawberry Field

Books by Jeremy Hooker