THE PLANET ICELAND
Poems by Elsa Corbluth
Elsa Corbluth lives alone in deepest Dorset. She has visited Iceland, where her son now lives, many times. Her three grandchildren were born in Iceland and now live in America. Her daughter, Eilidh, died in a fire, aged 18, and is the subject of Elsa Corbluth's first collection, St. Patrick's Night, (Peterloo Poets, 1988) which was highly praised. The title poem of that collection, “Dirge For St. Patrick's Night”, won joint 1st prize in the 1981 Cheltenham Festival Poetry Competition.
Elsa Corbluth has won a number of other national poetry prizes, including 1st prize in the Bridport Poetry Competition in both 1979 and 1981. The Planet Iceland, her second long overdue collection, is in the nature of a Selected.
New Year Villanelle 1991
On refuse day we put out plastics bags,
The blades of tinsel and the paper stars,
The broken cracker toys, the bones and rags.
Twelfth Night. Eleventh hour. Announcer nags,
Between the tinkling tunes and crowd hurrahs,
While we put out our plastic rubbish bags.
Near ultimatum day our grim hope sags
While each decisive voice discussion bars
And broken action men and bones and rags
Come on our mental screens. Each short day drags
Its red stain down and celebration mars.
The military get their body bags.
No doubt there's a supply of numbered tags.
Civilians try on gas masks. Armoured cars
Rehearse on sand their play of bones and rags.
What are disasters, and which merely snags?
Shortage of plastics, fewer private cars?
We wait to welcome home the body bags,
Our broken futures, scraps of bone, charred rags.
THE PLANET ICELAND
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: the painting "Will my Boats Row out to Sea Today?" by Johannes S. Kjarval, Icelandic Artist.
Publication: SUMMER 2002 (70 pages laminated paperback)