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Poetry Feature: "Kalymnos"
Posted on: June 7, 2016
Poet Helen Mort. [Photo] Helen Mort collection
The rock took all my fingerprints from me.
The bush was starred with wide pink
We climbed beside our shadows
The bay was a lidless eye. As I got close,
This poem was inspired by climbing in Kalymnos for the first time a few years ago and thinking about that point in the day when you feel as if you've climbed out of your own skin (to the point where you might hallucinate, as the narrator does in this poem). A number of the poems in my new collection connect to mountains, rocks, running or the body in some way, celebrating some of the landscapes that fuel my writing and the ways climbing can change perception.
[This poem is from Mort's second collection of poetry, No Map Could Show Them, available July 2016 from Random House Press. The publisher notes, "Here are odes to the women who dared to break new ground—from Miss Jemima Morrell, a young Victorian woman from Yorkshire who hiked the Swiss Peaks in her skirts and petticoats, to the modern British mountaineer Alison Hargreaves, who died descending from the summit of K2"—Ed.]
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