Winter in London is similar to March in Canada, except there is no melting snow. Wind follows rain follows wind. Excitement last weekend over two sunny days in a row. The herbs on the windowsill are leaning towards the sun. Yet here we are at the end of 2013. The poem below, by Robyn Sarah, reminds us of winter while closing the year. Poet and poetry editor Robyn Sarah lives in Montreal. Buy her book in a bookstore.
Update: Robyn Sarah’s 40-year-retrospective selection of poetry, Wherever We Mean to Be, came out in 2017 with Biblioasis, who also published her memoir, Music, Late and Soon in 2021.
Last of December
All over the city, white-from Pause for Breath by Robyn Sarah (Biblioasis, 2009)
musings of chimney smoke
unwind their chiffon into day,
wisps ribboned by wind
flicker, the sun’s cold eye
recessed under lids of cloud
spindles its beam.
Christmas is done.
This is the great
lying-in, no one walks
abroad here, the snow lies
trackless in the empty streets.
No sound – not even a bird.
Curtains still drawn at noon.
Kettles are heating in every kitchen
for the birthing year.
- Another poem by Robyn Sarah
- CBC interview with Robyn Sarah about Music, Late and Soon (Biblioasis 2021)
- Read an excerpt of her memoir at Open Book
- Ian McGillis reviews Music, Late and Soon in the Montreal Gazette and Malcolm Fraser reviews it in the Montreal Review of Books
- Interviewed by Stephen Brockwell
- Introducing The New Yorker’s Poetry Podcast (newyorker.com)