Saturday, July 12, 2008

Garden office poetry: Matt Harvey

The Guardian has a regular slot in its Work section on Saturdays called Desktop Poetry. Frequently appealing, today's offering - Where Earwigs Dare - by the marvellous Matt Harvey (recommended to me by Shedworking regular Annie Leymarie last month) is particularly enticing and I would suggest is the finest poem ever written about shedworking:
A silver trail across the monitor;
Fresh mouse-droppings beneath the swivel-chair;
The view obscured by rogue japonica.
Released into the wild, where earwigs dare -

You first went freelance - and then gently feral.
You worked from home - and then wandered out again,
Roughed it with spider, ant, shrew, blackbird, squirrel
In your own realm, your micro-vatican.

No name conveys exactly what it is -
Chalet? Gazebo? You were not misled
By studios, snugs, garden offices,
Workshops or outhouses. A shed's a shed -

And proud of it. You wouldn't want to hide it -
Wifi-enable rain-proof wooden box.
A box to sit in while you think outside it -
Self-rattling cage, den, poop-deck, paradox,

Hutch with home-rule, cramped cubicle of freedom,
Laboratory, thought-palace, bodger's bower,
Plot both to sow seeds and to go to seed in,
Cobwebbed, Cuprinol-scented, Seat of Power.
Matt's excellent collection The Hole in the Sum of my Parts has just been published by the Poetry Trust, nicely illustrated by David Hughes, and I would urge all readers to snap up a copy now. You can buy direct from Matt's site shop here.

1 comment:

  1. that man is a total genius. A woman called Mim Darlington read out some of his poems on an Arvon course I went on. He is graeeeeeatttt