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Poem: Henry Moore's Family

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Jill Bamber with this issue's poem. This poem appears in the Web magazine Living Poets , Volume 1, Number VII, April 1996. It is reprinted by permission of the editor.

Henry Moore's Family

Peering in, I see the studio floor
adrift with bones and fossils. He worked
small-scale at first, from clay maquettes
that washed up on the shelves. Pushed to the back
a marble woman waits among the shadows,
white arm loose across her lap.
He died before she flowered.

I trail behind the group, touching families,torn from the same grey rock.
Her cavities are windows, flocks of sheep
beyond, cropping grass. Black-faced
and meek, they stare across the fence
like bundled refugees at crossing points.

This side a man is mowing cool green vistas.
New angles open like kaleidoscopes.
I chance upon huge half-hidden forms
that seem to grow here. No one sees
my hands touch rippled surfaces
skin to skin, where chisel marks reveal
the flawed and secret energy of stone.

Deep in his thumbs he knew the grain of flint.
Clay like a river flowed beneath his hands.
I take the path between a line of trees.
Bronze bones articulate above me,
a pelvic arch in balance like a cave,
breeding memories, as if I lived here once.

Date published: 
19 November 1996

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How to cite this article

Jill Bamber. "Poem: Henry Moore's Family". November 1996, Ariadne Issue 6 http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue6/poem/


article | by Dr. Radut