The Friday Poem
We chose ‘Down Time’ by Chris Jones for The Friday Poem because we like its wry humour, its friendly, conversational tone, and the lovely pay off in the last line. Jones uses a range of poetic devices to construct a tidy machine of a poem, but still manages to retain an atmosphere of relaxed intimacy. The more we read it the more we like it.
You used to joke you were a champion sleeper
a heavyweight, the kind who’d knuckle down
to eight hour shifts without so much as a peep;
reel wide-screen dreams before you drifted round.
You had a knack for kipping daytime too:
shut-eye on the sofa, spark out on the grass
by slides and swings, or crashed beneath a duvet
as sunlight chimed like crystal cut glass.
These days you read how sleep restores the health
solves heady problems, makes you brighter, thinner.
You plot a future where you’ll pace yourself
the length of middle age, a distance swimmer
at ease as much in one immersive fold
as gulping air, your eyes full up with sky.
You’ll slow the long device of growing old.
Get to doze and doze and never die.
In The Frip now
NEW: Sarah Corbett charts and celebrates twentieth century women poets, and encourages young women writing now to to read the work of their poetry mothers and grandmothers. Also, The Edwin Morgan Award 2020 — Maggie Mackay considers pamphlets by the winner, runner up and shortlisted poets, and looks at what they have done since. ‘I did my one little verse and the place just went nuts’ — Bruno Cooke traces the development of Kae Tempest. And, ‘It’s written and can’t be amended, this book’: Charlotte Gann reviews The Long Habit of Living by M.R. Peacocke.
NEW: Looking for the ones who will never be found: Hilary Menos reviews Lyonesse by Penny Shuttle. Also, In Conversation: The Friday Poem talks to Les Robinson of ignitionpress about finding new poets, writing blurbs, and the usefulness (or not) of poetry reviews. Today I see eternity everywhere: Clare Best reviews Time by Etel Adnan, translated from the French by Sarah Riggs. And Poems for all! Andy Brodie and Hilary Menos on making The Friday Poem accessible to everyone.
Recent Friday Poems
by Jane Routh — Fraxinus excelsior 18” square-cut deadwood log / with egg galleries of Hylesinus varius // Retrieved from the log pile, a long block / inscribed with life cycles: