I recently had the pleasure of meeting Helen Fletcher in a pub garden in Sussex, England. Somehow our conversation turned to anthropomorphism in poetry and whether animals can feel similar emotions to humans. Having an interest and some knowledge in this area, Helen has kindly recommended a couple of texts on the subject for me to read up. Co-incidentally, I caught a discussion on anthropomorphism and many other things, (including the similarity of human cells to mushroom cells, the social learning of dolphins, the secret life of seashells and Andrew Motion on seahorses) on the BBC radio 4 programme Start the week on Monday. You can listen to the programme here.
Back to our featured poet. Helen is working on her first collection and most recently read with Telltale Press in Lewes. She studied English at Trinity College Cambridge and returned to Cumbria in 2005 having worked away in Kenya and London. She comes from a family of medics and has twin baby girls. Her poetry has been published in Brittle Star, The Frogmore Papers, In Daily Adelaide News, The Interpreter’s House, The Journal, Pennine Platform, Snakeskin, South Bank Poetry, Southlight and Third Way. Last year, she read at the Caldbeck Arts Festival in the Lake District. She has more poems online here and has just set up on Twitter – HelenFletcherPoetry @longgivingset
Lift me out of the crypt and touch me.
Carry me down the street
to the steps of the town hall
and sit down with your sister.
Then I’ll hear the things you’re up to.
Resting on your legs I’ll listen –
to nothing special, just the usual.
You were always that bit stronger.
And the afternoon will fly by,
with the songs of other families.
Someone’s boys will get ice-creams
and you’ll pat me like a baby.
Wrapped in the new shroud you’ve bought me,
tied in nicely.
Where is the way?
He points to the sky.
Where is the sky?
He points to his heart.
Published In Daily Adelaide News
Don’t wake up, my sleeping Jesus,
sleep upon the rocking sea.
God upon a pillow sleeping,
sweet dreams, love, of Galilee?
I can see a storm approaching,
you’ve been working hard all day,
get some rest behind the netting,
now is not the time to pray.
I am only ever tempor-
arily composed, she sighed.
He is gorgeous when he’s sleeping.
I am weeping at his side.
Published in Southlight