Poetry Side Quest: 7th Nerve by Rhiannon Hooson

Creative Questers
Creative Questers
Poetry Side Quest: 7th Nerve by Rhiannon Hooson

Welcome to our third poetry sidequest!

Once or twice a month, Christina will read a poem she found in her search for the muse.

Poetry can fire up your creativity in a different way than prose can. Here’s a great article on how reading poetry can improve your writing regardless of the genre you write in: https://www.iuniverse.com/en/resources/writing-and-editing/6-ways-poetry-can-improve-your-writing

Whoever you are and whatever brought you here, we hope this poem sparks your imagination and gets your creativity flowing.

If you have any comments or suggestions for future featured poems, please contact us at: creativequesters@gmail.com

The Poem:

7th Nerve by Rhiannon Hooson

Bell’s palsy is a neurological condition resulting from damage to the seventh cranial nerve, and typified by partial facial paralysis and pain on one side of the head.

Show me your teeth. Can you lift your arms?
Try to smile. Close your eyes. Swallow.
Dive into the dark water. Lie still
while the machine passes around you
and a voice reaches you from another room
where music is playing.
Is it just that side?

Plosives soften to nothing. Language leaks
from the corners of my mouth. All night
my eye tries to see into the dark,
and there is a wave in my ears that breaks
and breaks. Show me

your teeth. Lift your arms.
Snarl like the weasel arcing
after the rabbit.

Beast in the blinding light. Burnt-tongue.
Fire upon the moors. Show me
your smile, your one bright eye, shed your skin
like a snake. Let that mask melt
off your wrong red mouth.

Come fast through the grass,
some old monster finding
its folklore. Show me
your teeth.

About the poet:

Dr Rhiannon Hooson is a Welsh poet, editor, and author, who has won major awards for her work, including an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors, and her first book, The Other City, was a finalist for the Wales Book of the Year award. 

She has performed at literature festivals across the UK and in Europe, and her work has been featured in the Guardian, Magma, and Poetry Wales among others.   In the last few years, she has been a Literature Wales bursary recipient, writer in residence at the Hay Festival, winner of the First Chapter Award, poetry editor of Creative Countryside magazine, and the judge of the PENfro festival poetry competition.   

She has a PhD in poetry from the University of Lancaster, and spent time living and working in Cumbria and Mongolia, before settling in the Welsh marches.

Find out more at her website: https://www.rhiannonhooson.com

Learn more about her mentoring at: https://www.inkandoaktree.com/

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