The group really enjoyed the strange and surreal qualities of this poem and were fascinated by the emphasis of the chair, the claustrophobic atmosphere of the poem and way the language glided between different dictions - one moment using abstract somewhat officious language (‘object of contamination’), then in the next line shifting to a suggestive but idiomatically vague form of speech (‘of the woman things in the man things’). We decided to start the poem with a nod to the fable quality with ‘there once was…’ and tried to retain the child-like breathlessness of lines like ‘afterwards they lay in the very only bed for one’. The fascinating conversation on this poem meant that we ran low on time and, given more time, we would have explored these juxtapositions further. We also noted the interesting links to recurring images / motifs in Diacov’s other poems, a very different though still highly resonate and symbolic use of sardines can be found in the poem holding hands.
Edward Doegar, Commissioning Editor