9 The Silk Light of Advent

The silk light of advent by Gillian Allnutt

Sue Butler’s choice number 9 .

Back to Sue’s list

The author herself has described this as a depressing poem – but to me it is also has beautiful imagery and music, despite the very varied line length. It skips back and forth through time in a way that resonates with many episodes of shock and grief I have been part of, and is poetically complex and compelling.

Syntactically it is unusual. There is one sentence per line, no enjambment, no stanza breaks. The author has described how she experimented with this form while leading poetry writing workshops for adults where she wants to:

write myself and then read out what I’ve written as well as them, lay myself on the line and create an atmosphere of trust …. so I’ve evolved a practice of writing prose in workshops, with a poem in the back of my mind, and when I get home I sit down at the computer and I type out my prose piece one sentence per line and then I take it from there.

Read more about the poet here.