INDIGO DREAMS PUBLISHING LTD
GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2021
Anna Saunders is the author of Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck, (Pindrop Press) and Kissing the She Bear, (Wild Conversations Press).
She has had poems published in numerous journals and anthologies including Ambit, The North, New Walk Magazine, Iota, Caduceus, Envoi, The Interpreters House, Amaryllis, The Wenlock Anthology 2014, The Museum of Light and the Diamond Cutters Anthology (Tayen Lane Publishing).
Anna holds a Masters in Creative and Critical Writing from The University of Gloucestershire and is the CEO and founder of Cheltenham Poetry Festival.
She has recived two Arts Council Awards. One for Kissing the She Bear and one for Burne Jones and The Fox.
Burne Jones and the Fox is her first publication with Indigo Dreams.
138 x 216mm
£7.99 + P&P UK
PUB: 05 MAY 2016
“The fox of the title is a strong presence throughout this fine collection; sometimes a symbol, sometimes a shapeshifter, sometimes its earthy, physical self. Anna Saunders’ language is controlled and sensuous, and her strong images can startle just as deliciously as the bushy tail and amber eyes glimpsed at dusk.”
‘A poet of quite remarkable gifts.’
‘A gifted poet whose work is unfolding in remarkable directions.’
‘This is a poet who surely can who can do anything.’
‘This is a poet going from strength to strength.’ Nigel McLoughlin
‘Anna Saunders’ poetry is reminiscent of Plath – with all its alpha achievement and radiance’
Tears in the Fence
When Ned refuses to leave his wife, Maria attempts to kill herself. The Water nymph Syrinx also tried to drown herself before being turned to a pipe by Pan.
After the painting Pan and Psyche
Was the water Syrinx dived into too shallow,
the river drunk to a puddle by a droughty sun?
Did Syrinx wail like Cassandra before she leapt,
or the Water Nymphs turn Maria to a reed?
Was Maria too fine-spun to sink,
the goat god watch the slender stalk float?
Who scooped Maria out by a hoof,
took his lips to her?
Who manacled Syrinx on his arm,
led her into the dim streets?
What song did Pan play on Maria,
what music did he make of her?
As Ned and Maria’s love become more intense, he draws on the myth of Phyllis, who is trapped in a tree until her lover Demophon’s embrace frees her.
After the painting The Tree of Forgiveness
How long does he stand there
twisting the white wreath in his hand like a rosary?
All winter she has slept in the dark bark
and now she breaks into blossom with his touch.
He has one foot forward as if running,
one foot pressed back against her roots.
She is a flesh trap, a pale brace
and he writhes in her grasp like an animal.
Phyllis wears the split trunk like a manacle
as they push and pull.
The earth has them fixed fast
in this coupling. Only when it relinquishes hold
will they be free.
Burne Jones and the Fox
He’s taken to walking the alleys behind his house
in the evening, and the fox appears suddenly
on the other side of the road.
She’s standing at the entrance to the scrubland
and starts backing up when she sees him,
her amber eyes supplicating.
Ned still has Maria’s letter crushed
in his pocket, the one in which she asks him to leave.
The gold notes in the vixen’s eyes deepen
as if with disappointment, before she turns.
The fox can rise from the darkness each night
but Ned is scared of the heft of stone
the rock being pushed before the door.
A tip of red, like a brush dipped in paint
is twitching as the vixen turns.
Georgie is building a fire, turning up the gas
in each room as Ned steps backwards toward the house.
BURNE JONES and the FOX