stdClass Object
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    [ID] => 19554
    [post_author] => 23
    [post_date] => 2018-10-10 16:43:07
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-10 16:43:07
    [post_content] => I.

For me you bring two darknesses
One an eclipse of language
And the other an eclipse of horror
And it’s sad, even insipid, to hope
My semi-distracted, beguiled imagination
Could have taken in one erroneous smile
Before it slipped into your poems.

II.

I let the two darknesses enter swollen
Like little black barnacle moons
Or fucked-up heads they lie on the sofa
And the afternoon becomes an exercise
In the exhumation of grisly Soviet terror
Which I find fascinating and faceless

All at once. But such spherical beauties
Only you, Anna, could have drawn them.

III.

Quietly, the afternoon drizzles
And a pigeon shivers on a branch outside.

What is it like to remember
For all those other people?
Tell me how you spoke despite being
Hounded by dreams of the dead
Crawling quietly back into bed after
Years spent carefully de-composing.

I won’t even tell you how quickly
Nowadays we forget one another.

Maybe you disapprove of emblems
But your voice is a deer
In the night, small and silver
And leaping
It pricks
Like a needle
    [post_title] => Me Sitting at Home Having Suffered Next to Nothing
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
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    [post_modified] => 2018-10-10 16:43:07
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-10 16:43:07
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    [guid] => http://poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/?post_type=poems&p=19554
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    [post_type] => poems
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            [wpcf-published-in] => 
            [wpcf-date-published] => 2018
            [wpcf-summary-description] => This poem is commended in the Timothy Corsellis Poetry Prize 2018 on Young Poets Network (YPN).

One of the judges, Karen Leeder, said, "I liked the way this linked the past and the present. The poet conjures powerful images and uses sound well. There is a sophisticated self-reflexive approach."

The poet, Beatriz, commented, "This poem was inspired by reading Anna Akhmatova’s poetry (Requiem and The Sweetbriar Flowers) in translation. In it I try to come to terms with how Akhmatova’s representation of suffering through the medium of poetic language is both starkly alien and painfully piercing. Akhmatova’s pain (which I am anxious not to impersonate) and her refined poetic style ( which I can barely make out via translations) are the two ‘darknesses’ I found myself having to press against in order to pay homage to a life and a work I am endlessly drawn to but can never truly make sense of. Part of my fascination stems from Akhmatova’s determination to speak for a generation of women who waited with her outside Leningrad Prison having lost most of the things and the people they loved. Safe and comfortable in my parents’ London apartment in the present, I sit and contemplate my solitude and ‘how quickly/Nowadays we forget one another’: how love and bereavement are ailments to recover from; how past horrors such as WWII and Stalin’s Purges have become dismiss-able; and how even now I forget the suffering of others in war-torn countries or repressive regimes. Just as the dead must have been physically ‘de-composing’, Akhmatova spent the forties writing and rewriting (‘de-composing’) Requiem which she was far too scared to publish in Stalin’s life-time. Finally, this poem bears testament to the ‘Nothing’ness or sense of dislocation that often characterises great suffering, as described by Akhmatova in Poem III of Requiem: ‘This isn’t me, someone else suffers. /I couldn’t survive that.’"
            [wpcf-rights-information] => 
            [wpcf-poem-award] => Commended, Timothy Corsellis Prize 2018
            [wpcf_pr_belongs] => 
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            [ID] => 19552
            [forename] => 
            [surname] => 
            [title] => Beatriz Santos
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            [content] => Beatriz is commended in the Timothy Corsellis Poetry Prize 2018 on Young Poets Network.
        )

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    [ID] => 19552
    [forename] => 
    [surname] => 
    [title] => Beatriz Santos
    [slug] => beatriz-santos
    [content] => Beatriz is commended in the Timothy Corsellis Poetry Prize 2018 on Young Poets Network.
)

Me Sitting at Home Having Suffered Next to Nothing

Beatriz Santos

I.

For me you bring two darknesses
One an eclipse of language
And the other an eclipse of horror
And it’s sad, even insipid, to hope
My semi-distracted, beguiled imagination
Could have taken in one erroneous smile
Before it slipped into your poems.

II.

I let the two darknesses enter swollen
Like little black barnacle moons
Or fucked-up heads they lie on the sofa
And the afternoon becomes an exercise
In the exhumation of grisly Soviet terror
Which I find fascinating and faceless

All at once. But such spherical beauties
Only you, Anna, could have drawn them.

III.

Quietly, the afternoon drizzles
And a pigeon shivers on a branch outside.

What is it like to remember
For all those other people?
Tell me how you spoke despite being
Hounded by dreams of the dead
Crawling quietly back into bed after
Years spent carefully de-composing.

I won’t even tell you how quickly
Nowadays we forget one another.

Maybe you disapprove of emblems
But your voice is a deer
In the night, small and silver
And leaping
It pricks
Like a needle