Wedding the Locksmith's Daughter

Wedding the Locksmith's Daughter

The slow-grained slide to embed the blade
of the key is a sheathing,
a gliding on graphite, pushing inside
to find the ribs of the lock.

Sunk home, the true key slots to its matrix;
geared, tight-fitting, they turn
together, shooting the spring-lock,
throwing the bolt. Dactyls, iambics -

the clinch of words - the hidden couplings
in the cased machine. A chime of sound
on sound: the way the sung note snibs on meaning

and holds. The lines engage and marry now,
their bells are keeping time;
the church doors close and open underground.


from Slow Air (Picador, 2002), © Robin Robertson 2002, used by permission of the author and Macmillan Publishers

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3The Flaying of Marsyas

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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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32A Seagull Murmur

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33La Stanza delle Mosche

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35Manifest

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36The Lake at Dusk

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39Donegal

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38Leavings

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Books by Robin Robertson