Looking back – Curator’s Pick

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.

Guest Poetry Curator Alison Solomon shares her favourite poem from the work of Poet of the Month October 2015 Ben Armstrong with you. She explains:

‘My favourite poem by Ben is Cracked Map. I love his ability to paint a vivid picture of ocean life that you can almost taste, touch and smell.’

Cracked Map

already we are boldly launched upon the deep,
glared at by clotted elliptical crags plotted onto maps
by dolphin sonar.
steep walls slow our fleet-feet, no bag of winds to
blow out of our lithe bagpipes. Have Travel!
bleats the ghost of a kingfisher felled in
a forever war; its history hidden in a conch.
two bouldered whales play Scylla and Charybdis;
skim stones on the elastic sea – threatening peace –
both mutually raising their eyebrows at passing ships
slipped in from foreign ports.
and on these ships – as I am – turbulence infests
the lungs (the life-giver)
choking out surf.

[toasting to you]                    /a prost! on dead ears/
I stay below deck, writing, lighting candles in portholes,
commuting each night with the wraith-kingfisher
it occurs to me that we could all be dead
/ghosts at the feast/
contained within 35mm reels
drowning in dust.

Ben Armstrong

Which is your favourite poem by Ben? Read all his poems here

Follow Ben on Twitter @ProgBen