This poem by Sarah Jane Barnett deftly captures a life: holds us tight to its time, to its real possibility, before throwing us back to check our own proof of life. We are left aching.
But the poem itself is as ephemeral as its content. Reworked through various states and phases, republished in different forms, when a poem entitled Demolition refuses to be finished, rejects its very thingness, what can you do?
The collection of words is so insistent that you have to go with it, allow the evolution, let go of the old. Poems like this become sites - occupied, demolished, built upon, sites of criticism and containers of heartbreak. Palimpsests of life.
Other poems which capture lives with a richness beyond words:
Or which wrap buildings, cities, and sites up with human life: