Helen Mort’s Bittersweet Symphony mixtape

Mort Bitter SweetIf I was having a Friday Night Poetry Party, this is what I’d be listening to all night, crying and laughing and puzzling the neighbours.

Helen Mort’s poem ‘Rain Twice’ is published in The Poetry Review, 108, No 2. 

1. ‘I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed’ by Edna St Vincent Millay

I always want to start with something defiant and unapologetic from Edna St Vincent Millay. She’d be the heart and soul of the party before she even arrived.

2. ‘Oracabessa’ by Kei Miller

Nothing but gold, gold, gold. This poem is hypnotic but it makes you feel uncomfortable, the way any good work of art should.

3. ‘October’ by Jacob Polley

It’s early, but someone’s already telling ghost stories.

4. ‘Those Winter Sundays’ by Robert Hayden

Something mellow and reflective as the sun starts to set. The last lines bring a lump to my throat every time.

5. ‘Megan Married Herself’ by Caroline Bird

We’re getting really introspective now. This piece is witty, melancholy and totally brilliant.

6. ‘Burning Your Brother’s Guitar’ by Andrew Waterhouse

Bring the whisky out. This poem has a kick like a fine single malt.

7. ‘Homage To My Hips’ by Lucille Clifton

Dance. Move your hips and be proud of them.

8. ‘Thank you for Waiting’ by Simon Armitage

Everyone’s gone home but you still want to listen to good music on your own.

Helen Mort. Photo: Mike Gibbons
Helen Mort. Photo: Mike Gibbons

Helen Mort has published two poetry collections with Chatto & Windus, Division Street (2013) and No Map Could Show Them (2016).