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

Jeremy Hooker Reading from his poems

1Landscape of the Daylight Moon

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2Matrix

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3Prospect Of Boldre Church

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4Gull On A Post

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5From Englishman's Road

6Curlew

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7At Ovington

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8Steps

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9Red King's Dream

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10Black on Gold

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11A new love poem

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12In praise of windmills

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13Westerbork

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14Bethlehem

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15From Earth Song Cycle: Written in clay

16'That trees are men walking'

17From Seven Songs: Cyane

18From Seven Songs: Groundless She Walks

19Not Like Icarus

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

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21Sections from Arnolds Wood

22Strawberry Field

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Books by Jeremy Hooker