From the Archives: Cherry Smyth – One Wanted Thing

Cherry Smyth’s second collection, One Wanted Thing (2006), shows a poet coming into a true voice, her poems giving imaginative room for an intriguing array of delicately shifting sensibilities.

Whether writing of love, friendship, the conflict between the ideal and reality or the search for physical, moral and emotional beauty, Smyth comes to the task armed with a formidable poetic arsenal: anger, a wry humour, a self-reflective sense of doubt, an insight into the psyche of others, a belief in the power of the word.

From the Archives looks at two poems from the collection, each in its own way dealing with the slow movement of time, and the natural returning to the earth of all things. Each is posed with delicacy, desire and a careful grief.


Mother in Hospital

Moving towards the old end of the year,
heart burrowed in.
Leaves stencil the pavements,
shadow on a lung.
Breath blown away.
Chest heavy with burrowing heart.
Into dark.
Into amber.
The fall. Falling chest. Rising.
Let it fall. Let it hide.
Rest   remain   still
in the woolly days.
Looking for a way
to find this season
beautiful. Under the cloud.
A blue morning.
A long low sun
Lighting up the neighbour’s piano,
its warm wood,
closed lid.
I’d love to see it open.


The Future of Something Delicate

All winter I watched your single cyclamen
unbend its crook
to upbend in the only light,
letting the light come in
where it could not go itself
to make such pink,
a butterfly asana.
Only now can I begin to feel
how slow your seasons are,
how long buds shepherded
in that crinkled shade,
how much it took to float
your field of veined paths,
to trust some earth.


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