Summer 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1994 |

Movement in Copper

Ingots from Crete. Clayworking tools, ox-hide-shaped, unearthed in Sardinia. This was her evidence, plus Norman ivories, a Bronze Age trade in walruses, tusks from prehistoric Asiatic elephants. The soul, if she thought of it, was Cu blue. Whatever hurt was natural and came from within. She lit candles on All Saints Eve, watched lace-flies dance in the flare, her problems cleared by the new freelance, Isotrace Laboratory, investigating isotopic signatures of lead. She argued in the papers against the myth of Cornish mines. No one, she said, could know where they found tin. She watched patched skin redden and sag, and a shabby evening storm track by, silver with a sickle edge like the birth welt left by her lover, her inventor, slightly to the right round her back.

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Ruth Padel
Ruth Padel’s ten collections include Darwin: A Life in Poems (Knopf 2009), shortlisted for UK’s Costa Book Award, on her great-great grandfather Charles Darwin; The Mara Crossing (Random House UK); On Migration: Dangerous Journeys and the Living World (Counterpoint Press 2014); Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth, shortlisted for 2014 T. S. Eliot Prize. Her prose work includes Tigers in Red Weather: A Quest for the Last Wild Tigers (Walker Books 2005); awards include British Council’s Darwin Now Fellowship for her novel Where the Serpent Lives, and first prize in UK’s National Poetry Competition. She is Professor of Poetry, King’s College London, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. www.ruthpadel.com

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