John Burnside Poems
- Snake As cats bring their smiling mouse-kills and hypnotised...
- Agoraphobia My whole world is all you refuse: a black light,...
- Blues It’s moments like this when the barman goes ...
- Ronan To prove that nothing really disappears and nothing ...
- Over Kellie If summer is conversation, then winter is ...
- Septuagesima I dream of the silence the day before Adam ...
- The Inner Ear It never switches off; even asleep We listen ...
John Burnsideis a Scottish writer, born in Dunfermline. He is one of only two poets (the other being Sean O'Brien) to have won both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Poetry Prize for the same book (Black Cat Bone).
Life and Works
Burnside studied English and European Languages at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology. A former computer software engineer, he has been a freelance writer since 1996. He is a former Writer in Residence at the University of Dundee and is now Professor in Creative Writing, Literature and Ecology at St Andrews University. His first collection of poetry, The Hoop, was published in 1988 and won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award. Other ... more »
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Comments about John Burnside
As cats bring their smiling
mouse-kills and hypnotised birds,
slinking home under the light
of a summer's morning
to offer the gift of a corpse,
you carry home the snake you thought
was sunning itself on a rock
at the river's edge:
it shimmies and sways in your hands
like a muscle of light,
and you gather it up like a braid
for my admiration.
I can't shake the old wife's tale
that snakes never die,
they hang in a seamless dream
of frogskin and water,
preserving a ribbon of heat
in a bone or a ...