Poetry reading

If this text remains on screen after the page has loaded, please install Adobe Flash and enable Javascript.

Lavinia Greenlaw: My poem is about Titian’s depiction of Callisto.

'The Dark'

What was I in their story? The dark.
An electric unknown, a girl
who slipped off the path and found
herself alone in the forest’s locked room,
who set aside her quiver and bow
and lay down. When I woke
the world was in bright version.
I believed what I saw. He was not
what I saw. My body opened.
It was not my body. I became
a question that must not be asked
of the gods. I grew ripe with it.
I lost my place, my people.
I took the white ribbon from my hair.
Yet to her I was still what lit him.
She reached down and obscured my form.
My voice at first gaudy with argument
took on a rip, wrench and boom.
My body warped and cracked.
I was sinew and claw, my odour
that of a crowded cave in winter.
I was night torn from day.
I ran to escape my own shadow.
The beasts of the forest drove me out.
The villagers barred their doors.
The gods turned the page.