Tuesday, 14 October 2014

New Poem Published: 'Cairo'

Cairo from Al-Azhar Park, 2010. Photo © Clarissa Aykroyd

A few days ago, Ink Sweat & Tears (who were also kind enough to publish one of my poems a week before, on National Poetry Day) published my poem 'Cairo'. You can read it here: http://www.inksweatandtears.co.uk/pages/?p=7467

I wrote 'Cairo' in 2010, a few weeks after visiting the city in late August/early September. In fact, I started to write it while I was still in Cairo, but I only hammered the images together after returning to London. I have always liked this poem and so it was good to find a home for it.

'Cairo' is quite a personal poem. Everything in it reflects something of my experience in that terrifying, exhilarating city. I wonder if to the detached reader it reads as a pre- or post-revolution poem - as it turned out, we were there only a few months before the Arab Spring started - but it is probably too abstract and personal to partake of that at all. I am tempted to wonder if the poetic part of my brain saw something coming that the rest of me didn't, but that may be a step too far. It is essentially a poem about embracing the unknown, possibly a frightening unknown.

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