Don Paterson 3

June 24, 2013


This collection is ORPHEUS, published in the UK by Faber.

No apologies for featuring the same poet and the same collection twice. I love this book, and want to bring it to everyone’s attention. You can read my piece about it in The Times on Sat Nov 11, or next month under JOURNALISM.

Simply – it is important work, and very moving. The essay after the poems is thought provoking and inspiring. If you have 12:99 to spare, spend it on this book.


Silent comrade of the distances,
Know that space dilates with your own breath;
ring out, as a bell into the Earth
from the dark rafters of its own high place-

then watch what feeds on you grow strong again.
learn the transformations through and through:
what in your life has most tormented you?
If the water’s sour, turn it into wine.

Our senses cannot fathom this night, so
Be the meaning of their strange encounter;
at their crossing, be the radiant centre.

And should the world itself forget your name
Say this to the still earth: I flow.
Say this to the quick stream: I am.