Poem introduction

This is a poem called 'Wulf', which is in fact a loose translation of an Anglo-Saxon poem, and the speaker in it is a woman.

Wulf

Wulf

1
They take it from me:
in the manner
of a gift

if danger moves in the earth
is the life given
is it love between us

2
Wulf: on that island
- I on this other

shut into fens, a bone
in the neck of a savage

if danger moves upon water
is the life given
is it love between us

3
In my mind we joined together:

as it rained, as
I was sad in the rain, as
he laid with me in his arms

into his shoulder
a joy given into me like sorrow

4
Wulf, Wulf,
it is not
at all hunger shaking my limbs
but that you do not journey

absent & yet
you fill me

5
They take it from me:
in the manner
of a gift

the spine of a feather, a cloud in the body

ai, it is
easily broken, what

was never at one:

you & I, Wulf, the one
with the other

& singing


from Collected Poems (Carcanet, 2001), © Bill Manhire 2001, used by permission of the author and Carcanet Press Ltd.

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