Karen Solie

Karen Solie’s most recent collection is The Caiplie Caves. She teaches creative writing at St Andrew’s.

Poem: ‘Caribou’

Karen Solie, 19 January 2023

Why, after so many years, is she with me now?We who were not close in lifewalk among the caribou lichen

whose coral-like low forms, white against the mossesand wild blueberry in its red phase,seem to give off light.

She has escapedthrough the window of the body’s house of harminto the freedom of a truth that will never be recognised.

And indeed they do give off light, fungi and algaein a...

Poem: ‘Dust’

Karen Solie, 4 August 2022

Returning home from evening massin the big car,

they were like canal boats thensliding through the loose gravel, in the back seat

she pushed my cuticles upwith a silver file not unpainfully

to expose the half-moons, she saidGod put them there, he likes to see them.

An empty bottle rolled under the passenger seatand back out again

as my grandfather droveone foot on the gas, one on the brake,

it was a...

Two Poems

Karen Solie, 18 May 2017

Crail Spring

Surprised on returning to find the flat flooded with light. Merciless, evaporative, even when overcast, and, as the solstice neared, sanctimonious in its imperative to productivity. An expert with his pen-light wondering how you let it get this bad. That tone. We were out all day in the clarity of errors that had multiplied into reality. Extra weight exposed by the indignity of...

Poem: ‘A Miscalculation’

Karen Solie, 2 March 2017

Like a king from a promontory the kestrel presides from an updraft, an array of barely perceptible movements sustaining balance and attention, and the woodmouse, the shrew, the secondary characters, know whose watch they’re under. There are no

bystanders among them. The razorbill’s piety winters at sea, is secular and medium-sized, black above, white below; while, frontloaded...

Poem: ‘An Enthusiast’

Karen Solie, 3 November 2016

Endless heritage beneath the heavenly soundshed. Jet-black amphiboles. Ten varieties of scones in Elie. Giant centipedes and petrified tree stumps of the Devonian fossil record. Pyrope garnets at the foot

of the Lady’s Tower aren’t quite rare enough to acquire significant market value, much like the self-taught experts in autobrecciation and exfoliation weathering who work their...

All Fresh Today: Karen Solie

Michael Hofmann, 3 April 2014

Introducing Karen Solie, I would adapt what Joseph Brodsky said some thirty years ago of the great Les Murray: ‘It would be as myopic to regard Mr Murray as an Australian poet as to call...

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