New Statesman magazine has an enviable history of publishing poetry. (It published (Edward Thomas’ “Adlestrop” three weeks after the poet was killed in world War I.) It has recently renewed its commitment to poetry.
So I am delighted that last week it printed a poem of mine, and you can now read it here:
Like many poems this one derives from a collision of two ideas. The first was that last year I had the chance to visit Northern Ireland, a place that held my earliest memories. Although born in the English midlands, I spent two years living in Antrim as a toddler. When my family returned to England, my pre-school peer group had plenty to say about the way I spoke. The second was a TV documentary which explained how archaeologists can use the minerals deposited in a skeleton’s teeth to deduce where it’s owner spent his or her formative years; the Amesbury Archer, for example, was found in Wiltshire, but grew up in the Alps. The poem is about prejudice, but also about the different ways a place can leave its mark on a person.