Poetry reading

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Jo Shapcott: I am going to read a poem called 'Callisto's Song'. Callisto was a nymph who was flung up into the heavens and became a constellation. So, in order to write the poem I had to imagine what a constellation might sound like. On the page, I've translated her noise into an asterisk between every word of the poem and I hear it myself as a sort of white noise, a crunching, crackling sound. I can't speak like she probably would, but I will do my best.

'Callisto's Song'

* stars * stars * stars * stars * and * I *
 * am * made * of * them * now * looking *
* down * on * myself * then * a * colorito * woman * yes *
 * that * was * me * in * my * red * sandals * the * great *
* outdoors * curtained * golden * embroidered *
 * and * heatshimmer * above * blue * mountains *
* nothing * vertical * not * even * the * plinth* and *
 * no * speech * no * names * then * just * a * cry *
* as * the * busy * body * nymphs * stripped * me * because *
 * we * all * had * rounded * bellies * then * but *
* nine * months * gone * so * my * navel * curved *
 * like * a * gash * and * o * so * noticeable *
* among * all * the * diagonals * and * everyone *
 * looking * a * different * way * looking * a * lot *
* especially * the * goddess * at * me * her * arrow-arm *
 * pointing * bow-mouth * strung * and * dogs * crouched *
* because * they * sensed * consequences * and * gods *
 * arriving * and * doing * what * gods * do * upstairs * and *
* the * artist’s * finger * loaded * and * the * paint * alive *
 * alive * with * stars * stars * stars * stars * stars *

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