Blast from the Past: Lorna Goodison
Of course, you can’t be a good writer without reading good writing. In 2012 Jamaican-born poet Lorna Goodison, author of Guinea Woman: Selected Poems, Harvey River: A Memoir of my Mother and her People and a short story collection, By Love Possessed, was the Durham Book Festival Laureate and was commissioned by the festival and Durham University to create and present a new work: The Journey.
You can listen to Lorna reading her poem at a special event at last year’s festival on New Writing North’s SoundCloud site. You can also read The Journey below.
We are six who bear this body away from the fierce,
who take kingdoms here on earth by force,
often we have fled from the violent.
Now we make final journey to a crag in a loop
of the Wear: Dunhome, where the lost dun cow
was found at rest, we carry our brother home.
Open coffin we shoulder, houses our Cuthbert.
Wonder worker, beloved servant leader, head,
good shepherd, caretaker of the flock, and the book.
Partial to the pretty obzocky duck; in all creation
nothing alien to him. Stones refused raise up
of their own accord to level up our path; we walk good
through fen and moor, along wild and rocky road
we transport his radiant remains, light and healing
ever active emanate from his sweet flesh.
He whom we bear aloft is clement force of mercy.
Pilgrim, should you stumble on your own journey
stretch forth your hand, here is help.