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The Monday Poem > My Life's Stem was Cut- Helen Dunmore

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Helen Dunmore was a writer and poem who sadly died last year. Her collection of poetry, Inside the Wave posthumously won the Costa book of the year.

This was one my favourite poems from the collection and is available on a guardian article- https://www.theguardian.com/books/sho...

My Life's Stem Was Cut

My life’s stem was cut,
But quickly, lovingly
I was lifted up,
I heard the rush of the tap
And I was set in water
In the blue vase, beautiful
In lip and curve,
And here I am
Opening one petal
As the tea cools.
I wait while the sun moves
And the bees finish their dancing,
I know I am dying
But why not keep flowering
As long as I can
From my cut stem?

Taken from Inside the Wave by Helen Dunmore, published by Bloodaxe Books


message 2: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments Great poem Heather. I have not heard of Dunmore before; I will have to keep an eye out for more of her poetry.


B the BookAddict (bthebookaddict) | 8315 comments Really good, Heather.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Leslie wrote: "Great poem Heather. I have not heard of Dunmore before; I will have to keep an eye out for more of her poetry."

She has also written novels, the most recent of which was Birdcage Walk.

I liked her collection that this was taken from but only about 50% of the poems really grabbed me including this one. It was written when she knew her cancer was terminal and one of the poems was written just a few days before she died. The whole collection is not all about death and dying but I personally found the poems that were more powerful.


message 5: by Diane S ☔ (new)

Diane S ☔ Didn't know she wrote poetry. Beautiful and sad.


message 6: by Joan (new)

Joan I love the celebration of life that is left,
reminding herself and the reader that she/life is still loved, beautiful and seductive

“Quickly, lovingly lifted up”

“In the blue vase, beautiful in lip and curve
And here I am opening one petal”

“Why not keep flowering as long as I can..”


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I think the first line is a very powerful start. It makes me think of her life being cut short early but then, as you say Joan, she talks about how her life has been full of beauty and continues to be worthwhile even as she does


message 8: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments This poem was also featured in one of my favorite blogs - dovegreyreader scribbles - on Feb. 21, 2018. It struck me then, and I have had several occasions to look for it again. 12 days ago, I learned a dear friend has been diagnosed with glioblastoma. I have been procrastinating, but tonight I finally wrote a short letter to send her, and I am including this poem for her.


message 9: by Joan (new)

Joan Lauren - that is kind of you - it is so hard to know what to say when friends are desperately ill. I hope she finds peace and comfort.


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