Monday, 19 November 2012

"Ogres" from Andrew Bailey's first collection, Zeal (Enitharmon, 2012)


Here's a delightful villanelle from Andrew Bailey's first collection, Zeal. Tomorrow night he'll be reading at Topping's here in Bath, and I hope he'll include this. There is some identation in the lines I have been unable to replicate here, by the way.



OGRES

And there there is a lemon that contains
an island where they laugh so loud it hurts –
the souls of all the ogres in Ceylon

have been secreted far enough from harm
that they assume their soulless frames immortal.
But there there is a lemon that contains

the path to the secret citrus grove, wherein
assurances were made that seemed to state
the souls of all the ogres in Ceylon

would be protected. And there, too, to be found
is a blunted knife, an x-marked chart,
and there there is a lemon that contains

a lemon-scented sharpening stone
that hones the sour knife till it could halt
the souls of all the ogres in Ceylon.

And there’s that grove, that path, that laugh again.
You grip the knife, your other hand out flat,
and there there is a lemon that contains
the souls of all the ogres in Ceylon.


Andrew Bailey


In the UK, you can purchase Zeal from the publisher here

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