My roses
do not grow
like the ones
in the catalogue.

See how this one
cringes against the fence,
like an abandoned woman,
bitter at having

once loved.
But it was always
like this
and I should have known

that the voluptuary
in me would
always remain partly

Annie Freud was named by the Poetry Book Society as a Next Generation Poet in 2014. ‘My Roses’ is published in The Remains, Annie’s latest collection, which she has illustrated herself. The image at the top of this post, called The View from Lankham Bottom, is one example. 

The Remains

by Annie Freud

Book cover for The Remains
Annie 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. These worn shards and talismans soon began work on Freud's singular imagination, and this extraordinary collection of poetry and art is the result. 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.