Looking back – Patrick

During the month of May 2016 we will be looking back at Poets’ Corner’s first year, together with our Guest Poetry Curators. They will share their own poetry, experiences as curator and favourite poems from the platform with you.

The summer of 2015 saw poet Patrick Sarsfield as the second Guest Poetry Curator at Poets’ Corner. Patrick Sarsfield is a poet from London who has been living and studying in the Midlands since 2012. He draws influence from a wide arc, including his urban environment, literature, languages and society.

On his experience as Guest Poetry Curator Patrick writes: ‘My time as guest curator was incredibly rewarding, especially as I was one of the first. I felt a degree of pressure to ensure that I created a strong foundation for guest curators succeeding me to build upon, and it is gratifying to see that, a year on, the blog is continuing to go from strength to strength.’

Being a dedicated poet himself, Patrick continues to write new work. Poets’ Corner is pleased to share Patrick’s work ‘Granite’ with you.


Do not look down at the rising tide.
Boiling water below will make you feel small.
Hear the kittiwake call. Watch the herring gull glide.

Foaming sea and black stone collide-
ing carved this ancient fishermen’s hall.
Do not look down at the rising tide.

The cliff’s sheer face will be our guide,
leading the way while darkness falls.
Hear the kittiwake call. Watch the herring gull glide.

“Talk to us” says the sign, its meaning implied:
Stop what you’re doing and give us a call,
and do not look down at the rising tide.

At this confluence, our supremacy is denied:
Birds find their homes on the granite wall.
Hear the kittiwake call. Watch the herring gull glide.

Puffins and guillemots effortlessly slide
Into water turned rampant by the squall.
Do not look down at the rising tide,

Hear the kittiwake call. Watch the herring gull glide.


Curator’s Pick

In July 2015 Patrick introduced Elden Morrow as the Poet of the Month. Patrick’s Curator’s Pick from Elden’s work is ‘Deoxyribonucleic Acid’. Patrick explains:

‘Elden’s poetry frequently looks at the relationship between the complex relationship between person and place. ‘Deoxyribonucleic Acid’ is a little different, instead examining, in an abstract way, the relationship between two people. The poem’s strength lies in its surprising twists, turning from crime scene metaphor to geneticist’s jargon with stunning dexterity, before broadening out in the enigmatic final lines. Elden’s playful use of language is fantastic, the last five lines being particularly impressive.’

Read an abstract of Elden’s poem here:

‘If the deoxyribose and phosphate
of each nucleotide
is fused together,
forging a sugar-phosphate backbone,
then explain why your fingertips
when shading my spine
remind me of the bay
grasping towards Morecambe,
leaving stretch marks in the sand.’

In the next blog post Patrick will share his Curator’s Pick from the work of poet Elinor Cole.
Follow Patrick on Twitter @PJSARS