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Venery

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What am I to think now,
the white scut
of her bottom
disappearing
down the half-flight
carpet stair
to the bathroom?
What am I to do
with this masted image?
I put all my doubt
to the mouth of her long body,
let her draw the night
out of me like a thorn.
She touched it, and it moved: that's all.


Source: Poetry (November 2007)

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

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Venery

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  • Born in Perthshire, poet Robin Robertson was brought up on the northeast coast of Scotland where, as he says in a 2008 interview, “history, legend and myth merged cohesively in the landscape.” Robertson’s early influences include the stories of Celtic and Classical myth, the vernacular ballads, and folklore. His deeply sensory poems explore notions of love and loss framed by the dialogue between the classical and the contemporary. Describing the poet’s task, Robertson tells of the desire to reveal “the refreshed world and, through a language thick with sound and connotation and metaphor, make some sense: some new connection between what is seen and felt and what is understood.” As a reviewer for the New Yorker notes, “The genius of this Scots poet is for finding the sensually charged moment—in a raked northern seascape, in a sexual or gustatory encounter—and depicting it in language that is simultaneously spare and ample,...

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