Swimming in the Woods

Swimming in the Woods

Her long body in the spangled shade of the wood
was a swimmer moving through a pool:
fractal, finned by leaf and light;
the loose plates of lozenge and rhombus
wobbling coins of sunlight.
When she stopped, the water stopped,
and the sun re-made her as a tree,
banded and freckled and foxed.

Besieged by symmetries, condemned
to these patterns of love and loss,
I stare at the wet shape on the tiles
till it fades; when she came and sat next to me
after her swim and walked away
back to the trees, she left a dark butterfly.


from Swithering (Picador, 2006), © Robin Robertson 2006, used by permission of the author and Macmillan Publishers

Recordings

Robin Robertson

Robin Robertson Downloads

1Aberdeen

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2New Gravity

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3The Flaying of Marsyas

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4Artichoke

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5Static

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6Five Views from the Camera Obscura

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7The Flowers of the Forest

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8Apart

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9The Long home

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10False Spring

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11The Thermal Image

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13Dream of the Huntress

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14Asterion and the God

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15Wedding the Locksmith's Daughter

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16Waves

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17Hide

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18Fall

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19The Park Drunk

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20Myth

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21At Dawn

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22What the Horses See at Night

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23The Death of Actaeon

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24Swimming in the Woods

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25Ghost of a Garden

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26Selkie

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27Wormwood

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28The Glair

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29Entropy

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30Entry

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31Strindberg in London

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32A Seagull Murmur

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33La Stanza delle Mosche

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34Lizard

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35Manifest

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36The Lake at Dusk

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37Crossing the Archipelago

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39Donegal

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40Holding Proteus

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12Tryst

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38Leavings

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Books by Robin Robertson