Editor: Helen Heath
This poem is from Joan's debut book of poetry, The Same As Yes, which will be launched on November 17. The whole collection is a series of conversations, beautiful and strange. Everyday things take on their own life, if only we can stop and notice them. I love these mysterious and strange little gems.
Joan Fleming won the Biggs Poetry Prize in 2007, and her work has appeared in Landfall, the Listener, Sport, Turbine and The Best of Best New Zealand Poems. She and US poet Emily Toder paired up to produce a chapbook which featured on Tuesday Poem last year. She lives and works between Wellington and Golden Bay.
The poem came about because I have a beautiful, huge, hardback OED thesaurus, and while I hardly ever use it for it's proper purpose (that is, finding better words than the ones I usually choose), I love to read the middle section of the thesaurus which has all kinds of lists: lists of every different sort of hat, lists of the names of diseases, lists of dances, lists of crimes, lists of architectural terms.
One of the lists is a list of the collective nouns for birds. So, that list, combined with an impulse to imagine the stacked books in a bookshelf as something else entirely, is how this poem was born.
Poem published with permission.
Helen Heath is the editor of this week's Tuesday Poem. Helen's book of poetry, Graft, will be published in May 2012 by VUP. You can read more at her website helenheath.com . Sadly, Helen is leaving Tuesday Poem to go on sabbatical for a little while. She's been an enthusiastic Tuesday Poet since we began in April 2010 - posting all sorts of marvellous poets and poems -- and with Claire Beynon's image, she created our Quill logo. Helen is also so reassuring with her advice on blogging. We'll miss you, Helen, come back soon.
Have a look to your right at the sidebar to see all the other wonderful Tuesday Poems this week.