Diary of the Plague Year: Day 64 18 May 2020: Quotidian Poetry: Alice Oswald (1966 – )

An extract from DART
 
There the musky fishy genital smell
of things not yet actual: shivering impulses, shadows,
    propensities,
little amorous movements, quicksilver strainings and   
    restrainings:
 
each winter they gather here,
twenty seals in this room behind the sea, all swaddled
and tucked in fat, like the soul in its cylinder of flesh.
 
With their grandmother mouths, with their dog-soft
    eyes, asking
who’s this moving in the dark? Me.
This is me, anonymous, water’s soliloquy,
 
all names, all voices, Slip-Shape, this is Proteus,
whoever that is, the shepherd of the seals,
driving my many selves from cave to cave …

FROM:

Dart
Alice Oswald

Faber and Faber