Promoting Poetry in Scotland

The Runner-up of the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for 2018 is daisy lafarge

Two Poems | daisy lafarge

Relief (739)

After the work by Louise Hopkins
, 2005, City Art Centre, Edinburgh


‘Appropriation’ was first coined when the twelfth century polymath Saint Hildegard of Bingen authored a text that implied it wasn’t actually Eve & the Forbidden Fruit but Adam & the White Flower He Denied Himself.

God was a kind of Burning whose heat extended to a little clod of mud which lay at the bottom of the atmosphere. When the mud warmed it became flesh and blood, and the Burning blew it into a human shape like a glassblower blowing glass.

Then the divine Burning offered the human a White Flower, which didn’t burn up but hung in the fire like morning dew hanging on grass. It was a gift of the senses. The Flower’s scent came into the man’s nostrils, but he did not taste it with his mouth or touch it with his hands (you could say he did not give Adam about it).

‘& thus he turned away and fell into the thickest darkness, out of which he could not pull himself. & that darkness grew & expanded more & more in that atmosphere’

The man’s sin was not that he could not smell the flower, but that he could not be seen to be enjoying it. The sin was in the lovelessness of his mouth and the unholding of his hands. The great sin of the senses is their hiddenness; I cannot show you my taste, my hearing, my smell. The great sin of the eyes is that they always want proof.

Adam called to Eve on the way out of the garden, but he missed
her reply
             her mouth was too full of petals.



Ode to Pamphilos


Pamphilos your name is an exquisite pastry—

There are never-ending lines I might write you.

I think of you as a man’s boy,

Which is to say, a mollusc’s cephalopod.

Pamphilos! Every line beginning with your name

Is poetry. You make my job so easy!

Although, I admit, Pamphilos, I am often

Afraid. When a poem begins it is a sea

Without walls; any word might drift through &

Wipe its boots on the rug. I fear also the gutting

Of oceans, this Mortal Business of charting truth

From starwort & phylum. The anchor,

Pamphilos—it doesn’t even touch the margin!