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Scarberry Hill

Published by The Rialto

ISBN: 9780952744436

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'Josephine Dickinson's poems are exceptionally original. Hers is a vision edged with mystery and rendered with arresting, occasionally breathtaking craft. She bears, with no small authority, an air of independence reminiscent of Emily Dickinson' - Michael Donaghy.

Josephine Dickinson, profoundly deaf from childhood, read classics at university, and then taught music for many years. She has had compositions performed in London, Devon and Orkney; and poems published in magazines. She lives with her husband in Cumbria, high in the Pennines, ‘penning a few sheep in a gap of cloud.’

Scarberry Hill

Inside the house is silence. We sit and look
across the room.You shift your elbows, smoke
and tap your pipe by turns. I write my words
in my little book. We look across the room,
or read, or meet to talk from time to time.
On Scarberry Hill the shadow under the white cloud spreads
and rolls our way. It’s far away. Perhaps
it won’t come down this far before it stops -
above the white washed house, the tumbling river
washing the valley below. Perhaps we have
to wait until it passes over. Just
a bit of rain, that’s all. And when it’s past,
the sun will shine again. The wind sock pulls
to east. It might yet rain. The moment stays.
As tiny cars are shuttling, changing place
across its darkening pastures, Scarberry Hill
appears to frown. You’re shuffling papers round,
I’m writing in my notebook still. It passes.
On Scarberry Hill the blinding streaks of green
flood out, the sky’s all sun, we wipe our glasses.

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