Friday poem: ‘Something Gallant’
by Annie Freud
There was something gallant in the way you held your new born
while chopping an onion with your free hand,
the phone clapped between shoulder and ear.
People kept telling you: what you want to do is . . .
and although you knew it was kindly meant,
and some of it even made sense,
you fitted the arms and legs into the new clothes you bought,
fastened the tiny buttons, and brushed the extraordinary hair,
the colour of which no word has yet been found,
into its first quiff – This is my baby, you said aloud,
I’m doing this my way.
From Annie Freud’s latest collection The Remains. Read another poem from the collection here.
nnie Freud's new book The Remains was inspired by a visit to an exhibition of Sung Dynasty works on paper, and their unselfconscious blending of illustration and poetry. However the book has its imaginative origins in a huge collection of broken household china amassed by the author while digging her garden. Stranger items also came to light: a minute horseshoe, a fossilised scallop shell, a rusted metal silhouette of a hound.
The Remains is concerned with what is left when everything seems broken or lost - and the new and unexpected things that happen when they are found again. Beautifully illustrated in full colour by the poet herself, The Remains is a powerful book of consolation and surprise from one of our most original literary voices.
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