‘The Legacy’ by Jennifer Malden is our Poem of the Week
This week, our Poem of the Week comes from Jennifer Malden, who is awarded this recognition for the second time for her piece 'The Legacy'. Jennifer found time to answer our Q&A before returning to her idyllic life in Sardinia. Why wouldn't she want to live there – it's inspiring her poetry, and she's clearly surrounded by resourceful people!
What got you into writing poetry?
I have always enjoyed reading and writing and playing with words.I have to confess to being a keen Scrabble player My mother taught me to read when I was four, and I can still remember the exitement of suddenly realising I could read whole sentences alone.(Or at least I think I can remember)!
How long have you been writing?
I started writing poems about 15 years ago, when inspired by a first visit to Sardinia, but more off than on, because of lack of time for myself. Many WOL bloggers seem to have a continual supply of brilliant ideas and be able to produce beautiful work time after time. I envy them greatly, because I need time to think about what I want to write. Have found WOL a real outlet, and it is such a pleasure to share what one writes with others, who are very generous with comments and encouragement. My world is Italian speaking, so no-one is going to be interested in ‘that stuff you write’. I found it easier, when I arrived in Italy, with a very Italian husband, to ‘go native’ with a vengeance.
Do you go to any open-mic nights?
I have never been to any open-mic nights for the same reasons, but would like to go and listen to the others.
What’s your favourite poet/poem?
There are so many poets I love reading, depending on the mood I’m in. Eliot’s Macavity is better than Prozac, also his The Journey of The Magi. Robbie Burns’s The Hare, and Silver by Walter De La Mare, small and perfect. Adrian Henri’ s Nights and Batpoem. Shakespeare, of course - The list is very long.
You're cast away on a desert island. What's your luxury?
On a desert island my luxury would be my brother in law, Sergio. He would swear, despair and shout for some hours, but would then find a way to fish, or find some shellfish under the sand, a plant which caught the dew for water etc., and perhaps even produce a makeshift raft to escape. An immensely resourceful person, never at a loss. Oh and also insect repellent as they find me immediately!
by Jennifer Malden
She was difficult, they said, but she loved flowers.
She planted white sweet scented narcissus
to dance before the loch
and yes, a host of golden daffodils.
Pink, purple and red rhododendrons
high enough to play under.
A windbreak for her Japanese scene.
Acrid smelling gold and coral azaleas
and a silvery wooden bench where
to sit and catch the weak northern sun.
Squirrels floating lightly on the beechmast
among pale wood anemones, later
above a rippling sea of blue so blue.
The huge gean tree on the north side
suddenly covered in frothy white
later with scarlet fruit for jam.
Her walled garden of delights with
oldfashioned colombines and tiger lilies,
lemon scented darkest red roses
and armfuls of rainbow sweet peas.
Sunwarmed Victorias and green Queen Claudes,
hairy striped red and jadegreen gooseberries,
and jewel-like redcurrants to use as earrings.
A secret place with only pale pink roses
and shyly nodding sky-blue pansies,
with a birdbath full of glinting wings
creating diamond flashing drops.
In autumn the calling skeins of geese
making us aware of winter looming,
and in the beechwood we shunned
violet amethyst deceivers,
damp glossy brown sow's ear
and jet black dead men's trumpets.
The birches turned to brightest yellow,
and her house was set alight by flaming creeper.
She was difficult, they said
but never once with me.
I loved her and her legacy,
delight in growing things.