Wilder

BookWilder

Wilder

Pavilion Poetry

2022

March 16th, 2022

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What is still wild in us – and is it recoverable? The poems in Wilder, Jemma Borg’s second collection, are acts of excavation into the deeper and more elusive aspects of our mental and physical lives. Whether revisiting Dante’s forest of the suicides, experiencing the saturation of new motherhood or engaging in a boundary-dissolving encounter with a psychedelic cactus, these meticulous and sensuous poems demonstrate a restless intelligence, seeking out what we are losing and inviting us to ‘break ourselves each against the beauty of the other’. They call on us to remember ourselves as the animals we are, in connection with the complex web of life in what Mary Midgley called an ‘extended sympathy’, and to consider wildness as a process of becoming, reforming and growth. We do not live in a time when we can afford denial. Instead, by being willing to enter despair, might we find what Gary Snyder described as ‘the real world to which we belong’ and recover the means to save what we are destroying?

‘A book about seeing through the dark, Jemma Borg's Wilder enacts a subtle illumination between the crepuscular and haptic and the dazzling and epigrammatic. Light is life itself, photosynthesising, meteorological, caught in poems similarly, beguilingly, changeable, imbued with a timeless and deep ecological knowing, the fruitful surrender of the human heart.’
Linda France

‘The versatility of this work bears witness to a very unusual combination of linguistic confidence and restless intelligence. Jemma Borg is no-one’s kind of poet but her own and that’s an extraordinary achievement.’
Susan Wicks

Author Information

Jemma Borg won the inaugural Ginkgo Prize in 2018 and The Rialto/RSPB Nature and Place Competition in 2017. Recent publications include the TLS, The Poetry Review and Oxford Poetry, and anthologies such as ‘Out of Time’ (Valley Press 2021) and ‘Places of Poetry’ (Oneworld 2020), and her first collection, ‘The illuminated world’ (Eyewear, 2014), won the Fledgling Award and the New Writing Ventures Award for Poetry. She was a zoologist and evolutionary geneticist before working in scientific research management in the voluntary sector and in science publishing.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover1
Contents7
Marsh thistle9
Shadows and warriors10
A song of hunger12
The honourable guitar13
The art of memory14
Les Pyramides de Port-Coton, Rough Sea15
Watching the fisherman at night, Tung Chung16
Peacock butterfly, late17
Broadwater Warren18
Dissection of a marriage20
Nulliparous21
The engineer22
Pity23
Forest of the suicides24
‘Simmer dim’26
An anecdote for September27
Bind29
On sleep30
Canis minor: directions for a very short play32
Portrait of shingle and wildflower33
How the jaguar caught her voice34
Aphids35
My grandmother’s hair36
Ultrasound37
Three storms38
My son in his ancient world is swallowing dreams41
Food42
Verticality43
Lookout over Happy Valley, Rusthall44
White gold45
Thread46
Little rivers feed bigger rivers47
Thaw48
The tall, gaping mouth of the redwood49
Wilder50
The swing53
Soma54
San Pedro and the bee56
Unripe64
Acknowledgements66
Notes68