Lorraine Mariner was born in 1974 and lives in London where she works at the Poetry Library, Southbank Centre. Her collection Furniture was published by Picador in 2009 and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize.
I had been worrying somewhat
about the final scene –
where to set it
and what could be the hero’s
StrangersThose people who talk
who make eye contact
with absolutely anyone –
I collect poems about tea but I’d gladly make a special exception and add this poem about coffee. I love the way the repeated sounds in the poem intertwine and mirror the bird building a nest...
When you translate a poem, the slipperiness of language and meaning becomes more apparent than ever. But, as Lorraine Mariner found when translating poems by the Greek poet C. P. Cavafy, this slipperiness gives a wonderful freedom.
This poem is such a joy. However many times I read it, I still find myself tickled by the dryness of it all (‘he has no second name’) then unexpectedly touched by it too. That combination of make-believe and mischief is beguiling.