Helen Farish

Helen Farish’s Intimates won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Her second collection is Nocturnes at Nohant.

Poem: ‘Athens’

Helen Farish, 27 August 2015

Did you take me for a Greek word? Most do, but I pre-date the Greeks.

I used to describe a limestone plateau where dusty snakes and small owls lived

with a people from whose mouths emerged my extensive family. I miss the sound

of my original kin as I muck in with this new crowd, biting my tongue

when I hear two or even three words stuck together to describe skies my first family


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