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Sunday, 7 December 2014

SUSAN GRINDLEY HAS DIED

Sad news. The British poet Susan Grindley (pictured) has died of cancer, on Thursday. She was the author of New Reader, a pamphlet from Rack Press, and had poems in many magazines, anthologies and online journals, including Nthposition, when I was editor.  Susan was a regular presence for many years on the London poetry scene, where she read, and attended many events in support of others. Susan was born in Essex but lived most of her life in Hackney. She was shortlisted for the Larkin and West Riding Poetry Prize and the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Prize and read at literary festivals including the Edinburgh Book Festival and the Ledbury Poetry Festival. A full collection remains to appear, but I hope that in time one can be compiled and readied for a press. She was a lovely person and will be much missed.

Zonal Pelargoniums

Call them geraniums, everybody does,
these are the ones with round, frilled leaves
marked like targets, creased like fans.
I found them in the bath – easier to water


the house being shut up – and took them home.
When they came into bloom I recognised
the plant that stood in her front porch for years,
two petals balanced above three, on flowers


I would have said that she was like, if asked –
coral, like the lipstick she wore every day.

Next came the Schiaparelli pink
she painted on her door and fingernails,


and on a specimen with leaves the size
of doll’s-house dinner-plates – the pale shell tint
she never knitted for a baby girl.

Dark and bright reds have been the last to flower.

The latest bud to open gave me the shock
of arterial blood –  an ordinary scarlet geranium,
the kind that DH Lawrence thought to be
beyond the imagination of God.


poem by Susan Grindley
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