An extract from Glyn Maxwell's Hide Now

21 April 2010

Glyn Maxwell's astonishing grasp on language and poetic narrative lends his poetry an ethereal quality, yet the energy of his voice grants him the ability to capture ordinariness with clarity. The following poem is taken from his collection Hide Now.

Forty Forty 

History covered its eyes and counted the way
kids count: getting faster
then slowing to halves, quarters, sixteenths
but nonetheless faster,

faster in words but slower and slower to reach
like Zeno's arrow,
though finally all the way to some fat figure
ending in zero.

Then History turned and blinked: right there
stood a boy by a hedgerow,
holding his hands to his eyes and saying

I'm coming to get you!

 

 

And his confidence in a game he had

quite misunderstood
was awful to see and if History didn't correct him
others would,

 

so History ventured slowly towards him
and - I don't know how -
very gently took little hands in big hands and said

hide now

.

 

Some praise for Maxwell's work:

‘[Maxwell’s] astonishing technical facility can make syllables, vowels and consonants do absolutely anything. His energetic voice riffs through evasively ordinary speech taking on love, politics, comedy and bizarre narratives in brilliantly elaborate syntax and forms’ - Independent 

 

 

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