About the poet
Anne Ridler (1912-2001) moved in literature throughout her life; she was the daughter of writers...
Some seedlings shoulder the earth away
Like Milton's lion plunging to get free,
Demanding notice. Delicate rare fritillary,
You enter creeping, like the snake
You're named for, and lay your ear to the ground.
The soundless signal comes, to arch the neck -
Losing the trampled look -
Follow the code for colour, whether
White or freckled with purple and pale,
A chequered dice-box tilted over the soil,
The yellow dice held at the base.
When light slants before the sunset, this is
The proper time to watch fritillaries.
They entered creeping; you go on your knees,
The flowers level with your eyes,
And catch the dapple of sunlight through the petals.
from Collected Poems (Carcanet, 1997), copyright © Anne Ridler 1997
Anne Ridler Reading from her Poems