Guest blog post: Hands like these, by Beverly Rycroft

Anthony Wilson

Bev Rycroft

This is the first in a series of guest blog posts by writers I admire.

Having enjoyed speaking and reading with her at The Aldeburgh Poetry Festival last year, I am especially pleased to have Beverly Rycroft as my first guest blogger.  Full details of Beverly’s recent work can be found at the end of this blog post.

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In the winter of 1984 I lived in London.  Homesick, cold and tired, I glanced up in the Tube one day and read these lines:

Days I have held,
days I have lost,

days that outgrow, like daughters,
my harbouring arms.

The rush of heimwee (Afrikaans: homesickness/nostalgia) that I felt on reading Derek Walcott’s Midsummer, Tobago was triggered not only by missing my family in South Africa, from longing to be a daughter protected by parents again.  The first stanza of the poem, describing the “white heat” and “scorched yellow palms”…

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