On Reading Lowell’s Imitations of Sappho

On Reading Lowell's Imitations of Sappho

What is nearest at hand … these nerves
in my fingertips are eyes, five pairs of eyes
pressing the pillow where your head might lie,
looking for your face, one day. Time,

now and then, allows for intimation
that abides like the rings around Saturn.
I can easily make you understand this
for it's not love that's evasive,

it's the years spent void of course,
perfecting a face in the empty mirrors
of memory. Yet all those rooms I slept in
I know now their corners were touching;

each echoed where I'd already been
until I could see through the walls, just as a poem
when at last it finds its true form
seems as though it's been written before.


from Sidereal (Picador, 2011), © Rachael Boast 2011, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

Rachael Boast

Rachael Boast Downloads

16Human Telescope

£0.89

7On Reading Lowell’s Imitations Of Sappho

£0.89

1Attic

£0.89

2Frosted Fields

£0.89

3The Window

£0.89

4After Sappho

£0.89

5Re-Reading Akhmatova

£0.89

6The Hum

£0.89

9Fire Shower

£0.89

10Moonlight On The Dial Of The Day

£0.89

11The Canal At Claverton

£0.89

12Redressing Marsyas

£0.89

13A Right Angle

£0.89

14Headland

£0.89

15Sandpipers

£0.89

17Ruth

£0.89

18St Mary’s Quad

£0.89

19Reciprocity

£0.89

30Cabin Fever

£0.89

8Meteor Shower

£0.89

20The Triumph Of Venus

£0.89

21Aldeburgh Beach

£0.89

31Rainbow Weather

£0.89

22Milestones

£0.89

23The Withdrawing Room

£0.89

24Spring Tide

£0.89

25The Sound Of Snow Clouds

£0.89

26A View Of Canaletto’s Venice

£0.89

27Agrarian Song

£0.89

28Other Roads

£0.89

29Human Compass

£0.89

32Aubade

£0.89

1iii. Altars of the North

£0.89

2iii. Touching Ground

£0.89

5v. Compass Plant

£0.89

4iv. Dun Hoom

£0.89

Books by Rachael Boast