A Poem For Saturday


Dish poetry editor Alice Quinn writes:

The Scottish poet Kathleen Jamie, born in 1962, is the author of seven collections, including The Overhaul, just published here by Graywolf Press and shortlisted for the T.S.Eliot Prize when it was published in 2012 in Great Britain. Too few poets from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales are published here. She’s one to follow along with the Irish poet Michael Longley, who also has a new volume. We’ll feature Jamie this week and Longley next.

“Hawk and Shadow” by Kathleen Jamie:

I watched a hawk
glide low across the hill,
her own dark shape
in her talons like a kill.

She tilted her wings,
fell into the air—
the shadow coursed on
without her, like a hare.

Being out of sorts
with my so-called soul,
part unhooked hawk,
part shadow on parole,

I played fast and loose:
keeping one in sight
while forsaking the other.
The hawk gained height:

Her mate on the ground
began to fade,
till hill and sky were empty
and I was afraid.

(From The Overhaul © 2012 by Kathleen Jamie. Used by permission of Graywolf Press. Photo by Peter Massas)