Vision of Escape — a poem by Lorna Staveley Anker

I posted a little feature on the recently published, selected poems of Lorna Staveley Anker. I am now able to post a poem from her collection, one which I made reference to in my review of her book. I have a spare copy of the book to give away to a random follower of the blog or someone who likes this post (on Friday).


‘There are numerous poems that stand out in The Judas Tree, (I love the compounding detail in ‘Recipe for Writing a Poem in the Dark’), but I want to finish with a peek at ‘Vision of Escape.’ In this poem a city is being traversed and the driver asks, ‘what is poetry?’ The poem then travels from ornate metaphor to gloomy night to stationary moment to ornate-but-cooler metaphor to stalled car. Ingenuous. The poet deftly moves in and out of reality and ‘the moment’ — and as the title suggests that is exactly what the pen does. Poems are as much the stalled car as they are the “green/ Aegean sea.”’ Then there is rippling tension between the title and the movement in the poem.




Vision of Escape


At the city crossing

you ask,

what is poetry?

and I reply,

us                     here

snug in this       warm

ruby-red    gold-encrusted

Venetian    glass     goblet.


Fool – you say,

we are sitting

in our saloon car.

It’s a wet winter night

and we’re waiting for

the red lights to change

to green.


No matter

I retort,

when that happens,

we switch time and

place   to    a

gold-spangled-fish bowl

at the bottom of some

faraway cool green

green Aegean




you stall the engine.


© Lorna Staveley Anker The Judas Tree  Ed Bernadette Hall Canterbury University Press 2013

5 thoughts on “Vision of Escape — a poem by Lorna Staveley Anker

  1. Pingback: The giveaway copy of The Judas Tree on Poetry Shelf | NZ Poetry Shelf

  2. Pingback: Poetry Shelf ANZAC poem: celebrating Lorna Staveley Anker, NZ’s first woman war poet | NZ Poetry Shelf

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