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Self-Portrait in the Dark

Self-Portrait in the Dark

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Self-Portrait in the Dark

4/5 (1 clasificación)
54 página
20 minutos
Nov 23, 2010


The dark attunes our eyes to detail the light can sometimes conceal; similarly, Colette Bryce’s new poems are ‘slant tellings’ that reveal strange and true reflections. Using a wide range of imaginative strategies, Bryce examines the ways in which time is held, space enclosed – and a life framed and given meaning: a face in a broken mirror, a spider trapped under a glass, or a stolen kiss in a car-wash. Bryce’s two previous prize-winning collections were widely admired for their marvellously seductive music and their speed of thought; Self-Portrait in the Dark widens and deepens the poet’s scope, and is her most emotionally compelling collection to date.

Praise for The Full Indian Rope Trick

‘[Bryce’s] poems, sensitive as the needle that registers some distant earth tremor, are delicately poised . . . Bryce’s vision is questing, disquieting, dark . . . as she seeks out the truths of life and love that transform the human heart. This is a confident, complex, subversive collection that shows us the magic by which one becomes a mature poet’ The Times

Nov 23, 2010

Sobre el autor

Colette Bryce was born in Derry in 1970. After studying in England, she settled in London for some years where she received an Eric Gregory Award in 1995 and won the National Poetry Competition in 2003. She has published four poetry collections with Picador, most recently The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (2014), recipient of a Christopher Ewart-Biggs Award in memory of Seamus Heaney. She has held literary fellowships at various universities in the UK, Ireland and the US, and currently lives in Newcastle upon Tyne where she works as a freelance writer and editor. She received a Cholmondeley Award for poetry in 2010. Her Selected Poems was shortlisted for the Poetry Pigott Prize in association with Listowel Writers’ Week. She was selected as one of Val McDermid's ten most exciting LGBTQI+ writers in the UK in association with the British Council in 2019. www.colettebryce.com

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Self-Portrait in the Dark - Colette Bryce


A Spider

I trapped a spider in a glass,

a fine-blown wineglass.

It shut around him, silently.

He stood still, a small wheel

of intricate suspension, cap

at the hub of his eight spokes,

inked eyes on stalks; alert,

sensing a difference.

I meant to let him go

but still he taps against the glass

all Marcel Marceau

in the wall that is there but not there,

a circumstance I know.

Self-Portrait in the Dark (with Cigarette)

To sleep, perchance

to dream? No chance:

it’s 4 a.m. and I’m wakeful

as an animal,

caught between your presence and the lack.

This is the realm insomniac.

On the window seat, I light a cigarette

from a slim flame and monitor the street –

a stilled film, bathed in amber,

softened now in the wake of a downpour.

Beyond the daffodils

on Magdalen Green, there’s one slow vehicle

pushing its beam along Riverside Drive,

a sign of life;

and two months on

from ‘moving on’

your car, that you haven’t yet picked up,

waits, spattered in raindrops like bubble wrap.

Here, I could easily go

off on a riff

on how cars, like pets, look a little like their owners

but I won’t ‘go there’,

as they say in America,

given it’s a clapped-out Nissan Micra . . .

And you don’t need to know that

I’ve been driving it illegally at night

in the lamp-lit silence of this city

– you’d only worry –

or, worse, that Morrissey

is jammed in the tape deck

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