Our extended re-launch submission window closed on Saturday 30th June and we are busy sifting through all the work you have kindly sent us to consider for publication. We expect the first new work to be posted around the middle of July, and hope you are looking forward to that as much as we are.
Our submissions never sleep though, and all those received from 1st July onwards will be reviewed for potential publication at the end of July, according to our normal monthly schedule.
Last Sunday I had the personal pleasure and opportunity to record a radio show to talk about Algebra of Owls and read a few poems from past contributors. This will be aired on Sunday 8th July, and I will be posting a link here as soon as it is available. Watch this space!
In the interim I thought I would post up one of my favourite canonical poems. Referencing – whether cultural, literary or geographical – in poems is a double-edged sword. It can firmly fix a poem in a particular place or time, and can demonstrate the place from which the poet speaks. Over time, writing itself can form a living social history from the clues and signposts that writers leave us. However, the more detailed and specific those references become, the more potential readers may be excluded. Not always a bad thing, you may sometimes specifically want to address work to a certain group (but even then I prefer work that works as a window and allows others to “see in”) although I will never perhaps be entirely comfortable with poems that exclude readers who have simply lacked opportunity and privilege, especially educational privilege.
However, sometimes you get a poem that is universal. Where the poet has bent over backwards to make sure that anyone of any age, gender or culture is going to get it. Where we are talking about something that has barely changed since we were hefting clubs and hunting mammoths. Those kind of poems can really sing to me, and this is one of those.
Love After Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.