Poem by Valerie Lynch

Eyewear is very pleased to welcome Valerie Lynch (above, reading at the Poetry Cafe) this Friday, especially as she recently turned 80 (on Tuesday of this week - congratulations).

Lynch has been a part of my Poetry School seminar groups for several years now, and I have been much impressed with her determination, and talent. She began writing poetry at 77, after various interesting careers as teacher (Economics), archaeologist (in a City Museum), assistant editor of an encyclopaedia, and finally a psychoanalytical psychotherapist (still practising).

She has quickly developed a sometimes startling, often painfully honest, voice, dealing with themes of palpable interest to her - and all people in due course - ageing, memory, the body, loss, desire, sexuality, love, and time - and how anger and beauty twine around these subjects. I think she has some work well worth reading, and someone in the UK should publish her collection before she turns 100, so a wider audience can benefit from her vision.

Writing the Borderlines

Below your dismissive eye
is the undisturbed, disturbing
country of nearby.
Sit in a siding a layby the grass
at the quarry's edge
and use whatever's around.

Last night's storm
that reared its head over trees
and walked you home
dark green figs in a row
on an orange dish,
the spaces where we don't talk;

even Miss Peat
on the motorway verge
in her picnic chair
wearing a tired hat
and a frightened face
a long way from Walthamstow.

poem by Valerie Lynch

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