The Yellow House

The Yellow House

Poetry (Salmon Poetry, Clare 2017)

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“The poems in The Yellow House bear reading and re-reading. On finishing the collection, you are left with a feeling both powerful and affecting. The poems are moving but never merely sentimental; sometimes lyrical, but not self-obsessed. The emotional range is matched by the artfulness of execution. We are lucky that Wall writes poetry this well. If Wall means what he writes in the penultimate poem of the collection, ‘The ship of Theseus’: ‘I remake myself / in every new phrase’, then we have much to look forward to in the future.” David Toms

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The Stinging Fly review

Read a poem from the collection

I would know your step

the set of your shoulders

the way you hold your head

if you walked across the horizon

three miles distant

wherever they have horizons

steppes or deserts

I would know your step

I would know your voice

if you stood in a choir of voices

in the world’s biggest choral anthem

some unimaginable allelujah

in the biggest cathedral

on the horizon of a steppe or desert

I would know your voice

I would know your hair

in a curiosity shop of copper

in a chest of chestnuts

in a goldsmith’s workshop

your red gold hair

in a cathedral of copper and gold

on the horizon of a steppe or desert

I would know your hair

I would know the sounds

you make in sleep

the noise of your dreams

if you were the chorus 

of a great cathedral

or the copper in a wire

the curiosity of goldsmiths

on the horizon of a steppe or desert

I would know the sound

Read a poem from the collection

The revolution will come

but not here

heads will roll

but not on my watch

and there will be noise

and there will be lamentations

and there will be a better world

and everyone will know

that the bastards got what’s coming

even if new bastards come

they will be our new bastards

and not the old bastards who kept their boots

upon our necks and smiled and smiled

and the air will be cleaner 

and the sewers will run red with blood

so much the sea will darken

the whole island surrounded

by the colour of sunset

on a way of life that was not ours anyway

and above all

there will be singing

the invention of entirely new ways 

of being together and apart

and new ways of remembering

but not here