Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Tuesday Poem: Helen Mort, 'An Easy Day for a Lady'

The Grepon  Simo Rasenen, Wikimedia

The Grépon has disappeared. Of course, there are still
some rocks standing there, but as a climb no longer
exists. Now that it has been done by two women alone,
no self-respecting man can undertake it.
– ETIENNE BRUHL, 1929

When we climb alone
en cordée feminine,
we are magicians of the Alps –
we make the routes we follow
disappear.

Turn around
to see the swooping absence
of the face, the undone glaciers,
crevasses closing in on themselves
like flowers at night.

We’re reeling in the sky.
The forest curls into a fist.
The lake is no more permanent
than frost. Where you made ways,
we will unmake:

give back the silence
at the dawn of things.
Beneath your feet,
the ground
retracts its hand.

• From No Map Could Show Them by Helen Mort (Chatto, £10 or Kindle £5.49).



The Guardian Saturday poem

I’m loving the Guardian’s weekly poetry series, and I loved this one enough to want to share it.  The collection is a Poetry Book Society recommendation.

If you want to watch the stomach churning Grépon 'traversée', click here. 

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