The Story of a Book
The Complete Poems of Robert Frost
The copy I have is greenly bound
and shows his name in cursive gold.
I bought it in a Norfolk town
where spring was gale winds and cold,
and where the streets were cobbled grey,
and rain had started, but did not stay.
It smells as any good book should:
of previousness, of thick-paged time,
and has a weight my hands have understood,
and balanced and slowly turned
the light-leaved pages, yellow-old and fine,
with poems printed on them line on line.
A short inscription is at the front:
words scrawled small and anciently in ink,
with names and a date I always see
when starting back to read again and think
on landscapes locked in seasons,
and trees as brothers in a cold history.
Whilst reading through a winter night,
I think of New Hampshire smoothed in snow,
its forests bound by skins of ice,
already colder than my mind can know,
with icicles that point towards the earth,
and evenings dark to walk, dark to write.
Nell Wilson studied English Literature at the University of St Andrews, graduating in 2011. Her poems have appeared in Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry and The Moth.