Prolegomena to an Epic

The poet smiles at the thought of grit
for she too will be abrasive

The poet shuts her eyes
to see everything more clearly

The poet destroys her expensive fountain-pen
because good taste is the enemy of art

The poet opens her eyes
to confront nothing in all its blindness

The poet sniffs her armpits
for the human stink is the friend of art

The poet sneers at a photograph of Ted Hughes
because that is part of her daily routine

The poet does her pelvic-floor exercises
because they too are part of her daily routine

The poet chews raw garlic
because poems should be garlicky

The poet steels herself
preparing to be merciless

The poet writes a poem
then tears it up scornful of her own timidity

Despair rages within her
but she refuses to weep

The poet will be woman
complete and unafraid

Now she is ready to face her laptop

Its screen trembles at her approach

She begins to type


Dervla Ramaswamy

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Dervla Ramaswamy would be pleased to hear them.

This poem is the prolegomena to Dervla's Potato Fields of Despair, an account of the miseries of a family of Bulgarian potato farmers through seven depressing decades.

This will, she insists, be coming soon from Potcake Press.