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Poem of the month - July 2005

Foxgloves

She foxed him, slipping silently away
into the willow-shaded afternoon
where creamy elder blossom wandered down
as though this should have been her wedding day

He stares about him, sharp-nosed, yellow-eyed.
Nothing is moving. Poppies in the sun
hold their soft soot untouched. Where has she gone?

What sleeping leaves conceal his errant bride?
Tall by the cherry tree the foxgloves stand
pale in their purpleness, their long bells sweet
and profligate. Each one of them could fit
a lady's narrow, faithless, foxy hand.

By Alison Prince, from The Whifflet Train (Mariscat, 2003)
Poem supplied by The Scottish Poetry Library


About the poet

Alison Prince with granddaughter Foxgloves appears in Alison's collection of poems, The Whifflet Train, published by Mariscat Press. She has also written biographies of Kenneth Grahame and Hans Christian Anderson, and is best known for her many children's books.

Several of these have won prizes, including the Scottish Arts Council Children's Book of the Year Award. Her poetry has been widely anthologised and she has won the Literary Review Grand Poetry Prize and been shortlisted for the Forward Prize. She lives on Arran but works extensively with communities in other parts of the country, talking to schools and facilitating the production of original combined-arts work, and in July 2005 will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Leicester University for services to children's literature. She trained originally as an artist, and plays the clarinet in a jazz band. Visit Alison's website for more details of her work.

If you have enjoyed this poem, you can borrow a range of poetry from the Scottish Poetry Library, who also lend by post. Telephone 0131 557 2876 or email reception@spl.org.uk for more information. For an online catalogue, poetry events listings and more featured poems, please visit the Scottish Poetry Library website.

 

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