Poem of the Day

4 Comments

Silverfish

by Helen Hagemann

Not as lucky as a Las Vegas dollar
nor as silver,
but if you look inside panelled rooms
there may be several silverfish
touring endlessly in the house of a miser
or in one of those 19th century cottages
where the rain soaks North Somerset,
bookshelves covered in trench coats.

You know that silverfish chew into glue,
plaster, paint, photos, sugar, coffee,
hair, carpet, clothing, dandruff,
book bindings and paper (and that’s
a lot to get through in a week!)

Imagine one slippery silverfish
in a musty library of a French poet
travelling through paragraphs of Reverdy,
John Donne, Simone De Beauvoir or Sartre,
his hunger moving toward simile and speech,
words curling into little white ropes
and lifting from the page,
one letter at a time.

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Poem of the Day

  1. Hullo Helen Hagemann..I particularly like the last four lines of your silverfish poem.Reminds me of Doug Stewarts The Mice of Chinkapook…about mice that ate a
    note book of poems by Shaw Nielson.Do you know it ?It is charming..worth looking up.I had the double whammy of your vision and the pleasure of re-reading Stewart..Thank you.

    • Hi Anne,
      Thank you so much for alerting me to Stewart’s poem. I haven’t read it, but will search it out. I admire the Irish poet Tony Curtis who has written “An Elephant called Rex & a Dog called /Dumbo” – it’s very clever and of course for Irish school children.
      Thanks also to Kaye and Tricia too.

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