After Yves Klein
In the street, I am warm past my summer skin,
the pavement is burning the soles of my feet.
My shadow copies me as I open my arms. When
I jump, it jumps, but it doesn’t leave the ground.
The light through my closed eyes tells me
a secret, that I am the most beautiful red.
And another, that it has travelled millions of
miles, unobstructed, to touch only my body.
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'Hiroshima, 1961' was commended in the 2016 National Poetry Competition.
From the judges: "Simplicity is a bold aesthetic strategy: it leaves nowhere to hide. ‘Hiroshima, 1961’ is an apparently simple poem riffing off the famous Yves Klein image, showing shadow figures of light against a blue ground. The poem is a brief paean to the fact of having a body, emphasised in its vulnerability by the reference to the artist’s image, the predominant colour of which is blue, against which the poem’s narrator contrasts the recognition that s/he is ‘the most beautiful red’. The realisation in the closing two lines is surprising, fresh and, given the context, though in ways I don’t wish to unpick, a touch sinister." - Gerry Cambridge
After Yves Klein
The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”. Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally. Today it has more than 4000 members worldwide and publishes The Poetry Review.