Rosemary Norman

Rosemary Norman
Rosemary Norman

Rosemary Norman was born in London in 1946. She began to write and to think of herself as a writer very young, and her idea of what poetry is and does has grown up with her.

She has published two full collections, Threats & Promises, Iron Press, 1991, and Italics,  Shoestring Press, 2010. Between came two pamphlets from Hearing Eye, Life on Mars, 1999 and The Song of the Nobird, 2009. One poem, Lullaby, has had a career of its own, widely anthologised and set for GCSE.

Her work with video artist Stuart Pound has been shown at festivals all over the world. They began by using spoken poems and have experimented with digitally processed recordings and with putting text on screen. Poems, stills and clips can be found at Poetry with Video.

Rosemary won second prize in the National Poetry Competition 2007 with her poem The Hairdresser from Beirut. She has a new collection for 2016 published by Shoestring Press, For Example.

Why I am reading this book

If you want to know what love is, ask
why I am reading this book.

I have fallen in love with a man
in another book by the same author.
I am unhappy
in parts, with the writing
but he has cut himself off
from the book’s faults. They are elsewhere.

For news of him, I go
to the one source of him, this author –
unless, as source, there was some person
or persons like him, who would see themselves
expanded, played by him as by an actor.

The man dies at the end. Rightly.
He must. Was dead, in fact,
from the beginning, and my hand
under his grave as I opened the book.
My right hand.

He persists, though,
as the dead who were once flesh
do, for their own bemused narrators.

Rosemary Norman first published in The Smiths Knoll, no. 43, Autumn 2008; in collections, Italics, Shoestring Press 2010, and The Song of the Nobird, Hearing Eye 2009.

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