reading Carolyn Forché


You were in another country

that seems ever so familiar.

It was a time of change,

of revolution and exploration

of travel and concern

but I have only just

stumbled into your world.

The grey wires, slow trains,

strangers and lovers,

corpses and survivors,

will be gone by now.

I never knew them

but still dream of revolution,

and today I marked

a student’s poems

full of fire and passion,

attitude and anger,

the likes of which

I haven’t seen for years.

Thirty years from back then

I hold your book in my hands

and wonder at how old stories

stir up thoughts of revolution

and the need for change;

how your forgotten poems

shout their truth at me.

They come out fighting

(but oh so tender) and

stand silent, lost for words,

interrupting the world’s noise,

crossing the distance between us.


© Rupert Loydell
Illustration Nick Victor

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