Poem introduction

I was born in a small town, on the banks of the big black River Trent. The next poem is based on surprisingly sprightly accounts from survivors of one of the town’s worst floods. The poem is called The Trent rises, 1947.

The Trent rises, 1947

When you heard the water whisper
in Crown Yard and Sailors’ Alley,
when your husband saw the river
no longer lazy - swollen, free;
what did you grab, to take with you upstairs?
What would I take with me?
 
Would I snatch letters from the flood,
so their clearest lines and kisses
did not meet condoms, tampons, mud?
Save bills?   Saucepans?  Water misses
no hidden, plastered wire.  No kettle could
boil.  The fusebox hisses.
 
Computers, in a leaky boat?
They hauled fresh water, tins. The swell
of river made the hall a moat.
Tortoise to bucket! Chickens fell
into their bath.  Aboard the Co-op’s milk float,
the pigs raised merry hell.

from Then (Bloodaxe, 2013) © Alison Brackenbury 2013, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Recordings

Alison Brackenbury Reading from her Poems

1Honeycomb

2Lapwings

3On The Aerial

4At The Beginning

5Provision

6After the X-ray

7At Eighty

8Dickens - A Daydream

9In The Black Country

10Overnight

11No

12Rented Rooms

13The Beanfields Scent

14Linum

15The Spring at Chedworth

16Edward Thomas’ Daughter

17Xerxes, an Opera

18Yesterday Vivaldi visited me, and sold me some very expensive concerto’s

19Prepositions

20Display

21After Beethoven

22Puff

23Epigrams

24The Nymph Considers the Garden

25The Trent Rises, 1947

26Bookkeeping

27On the Move

28Money

29The House

30Apple Country

31Robert Brackenbury

32High Notes

33Hill Mist

34Three

35Christmas Roses

36December 25th, 12 noon

37Bath Cubes

38The Blue Door

39At Needlehole

40Tewkesbury

41Flood

42Scraper

43Wilfred Owen at the Advanced Horse Transport Depot, 1917

44On The Boards

Books by Alison Brackenbury