A Poem for National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day in the UK, when we celebrate the work of poets from around the world. The theme this year is ‘stars’ and how the wonder of the universe has been expressed in in poems. More information can be found on the official website.

So what’s a post about poetry doing on a crime fiction blog? Well, the link between poetry and crime fiction is not as tenuous as it might seem. A fair few poets have also been crime writers including Raymond Chandler, Dorothy L Sayers, Cecil Day Lewis, Karin Fossum and Sophie Hannah. WH Auden, fascinated by the detective story, wrote a poem using the elements found in crime fiction as an allegory for an individual’s journey through life. Poets have even made it as detectives – with PD James’s erudite Adam Dalgliesh.

To celebrate National Poetry Day, below is a poem by crime writer Michael J Malone. I’ve chosen it because I like it, Michael’s a friend of mine, and I think we all need a bit of poetry in our lives.


Once above a time, as a boy
I pressed against a fence
watching deer play in enclosed abandon.

My teeth pierced an apple’s firm flesh
and ten noses quivered
at the sweet scent waltzing on the wind.

A young doe
skuffed at the turf
edged towards me
nose hooked on the fragrant line.

While her friends skirted
the unwritten ring of safety
her brown eyes appealed,
her tickled nostrils craved.

While one hand held the fruit
through the chain-meshed fence
the other hovered in awe
over the soft brush of hair
that garlanded her head.

The barrier diluted
she permitted my touch;
satin streaming over rock
peace suffused me.
Once again above a time,
now a man, you offer me
the benediction of your kiss.

‘Privilege’ is from Michael’s poetry book In the Raw

8 thoughts on “A Poem for National Poetry Day

  1. Margot Kinberg

    Sarah – Thank you for sharing this; it really is a beautiful poem, and I’m glad it’s National Poetry Day. It’s an art form that should be celebrated.


  2. Pingback: A Poem for National Poetry Day | The Game's Afoot

  3. Pingback: And You Read Your Emily Dickinson, and I My Robert Frost* | Confessions of a Mystery Novelist…

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