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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