Like the growth of crystals: a formative will and the impossibility of adopting any other mode.
Comme le développement de cristaux: une volonté de formation, et une impossibilité de se former autrement que d’une manière.
from "Faune et Flore", Francis Ponge, trans. Margaret Guiton
As doth an hevenyssh perfit creature, That down were sent in scornynge of nature. (Troilus and Criseyde, Chaucer)
Near Elephant and Castle, just south of Waterloo Bridge but a long way from the pleasantries of the river, I went into a room where the damp walls and ceilings had been coated with copper sulphate from which these crystals had grown.
Somehow inexorable, somehow alien. If I didn’t read poems, I wouldn’t be able to make sense of anything at all.
Lavinia Greenlaw has published three books of poems, most recently Minsk. Her two novels are Mary George of Allnorthover and An Irresponsible Age and she has also published a memoir, The Importance of Music to Girls. Her work for BBC radio includes programs about the Arctic, the Baltic, the solstices...