A Potato Sonnet: Jersey Bennes for Christmas
They gleam in the black
steady, as if candles
glow through layers of silk,
underpin the season’s quick
shifts of tinselled light
and the brisk heel-tap, chatter
of crowds in the street.
This is old, wondrous
as the maternal voice
that calls, come in
to the table.
© Carolyn McCurdie Bones in the Octagon Mākaro Press 2015
Author Bio: Carolyn McCurdie is a Dunedin writer. She won the Lilian Ida Smith Award in 1998 for short stories and a collection of stories — Albatross was published in 2014 by e-book publisher Rosa Mira Books. A children’s novel, The Unquiet, was published in 2006 by Longacre Press. She was the winner of the 2013 NZ Poetry Society International Poetry Competition and her first poetry collection, Bones in the Octagon, was published in 2015 by Mākaro Press as part of their Hoopla series. Carolyn is active in Dunedin’s live poetry scene, where she is a member of the Octagon Poets Collective.
Paula’s note: The potato is comfort food, but this particular potato hooks you to the extended family table where the sun is blazing down and family stories circulate. Christmas. Ah. Reading the poem, each word gleams in the light bright space of the page along with the deep pit of personal memory. Each word is so perfectly placed for ear and eye. This is the first poem I read in Carolyn’s debut collection (the title lured me in — especially the idea of a sonnet meeting up with potatoes). There is a quietness, an attentiveness, delicious overlaps of meaning and propulsion. I can’t wait to settle back into the book and discover more.
Mākaro Press author page
Other books in 2015 Hoopla series:
Mr Clean & the Junkie by Jennifer Compton (I reviewed this here)
Native Bird by Bryan Walpert