Penelope Shuttle

Three Poems


Doors locked and barred
to me for years
are suddenly
thrown open in welcome,

doors to forbidden cities
I’ve carried around
in my locked heart
fly open in golden greeting,

I go through
doorway after doorway
into treasuries and storehouses
where nothing is too valuable

for me to hold, not even
Edmund Blunden’s copy
of John Clare,
which he kept with him

those four years in the trenches.
In the margin
he has pencilled-in these words,
poeta infelix.

(Blunden’s copy of the poems of John Clare is in The John Rylands Library, Manchester)

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