Friday Poem: 'The New Zodiac'

12 January 2018

A poem from Richard Osmond's Costa Prize Shortlisted debut collection, Useful Verses. 


The mouse fears the cat.
The cat fears the dog.
The dog fears the man.
The man fears the wolf.
The wolf fears lightning.
Lightning fears nothing.
Nothing fears a child.
The child fears the clown.
The clown fears the ringmaster
and ever since the incident
the ringmaster fears the elephant.
The elephant fears the mouse.

Useful Verses

Useful Verses

Richard Osmond's debut collection Useful Verses, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Costa Poetry Award, follows in the tradition of the best nature writing, being as much about the human world as the natural, the present as the past: Osmond, a professional forager, has a deep knowledge of flora and fauna as they appear in both natural and human history, as they are depicted in both folklore and herbal - but he views them through a wholly contemporary lens. 

Read extract  

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