Jenni Fagan has brightened the start of 2021 with the January publication of her novel Luckenbooth, which she describes as a “love letter to Edinburgh” in all the city’s complexity. In celebration, our poem of the week is a spell from her most recent poetry collection, There’s a Witch in the Word Machine (2018). Like the most powerful spells, the poem performs the actions it calls for. The exhortations in the verbs ‘take’ and ‘bring’ are transformative; the poem summons and disperses its own light.
Spell for Hope and Renewal Jenni Fagan, from There's a Witch in the Word Machine Take rain cold and sharp, the bite of wind, two good claw marks, the estranged ways of sunlight, bring common warmth, and an idea of harmony, acceptance of discord out there in all the great beyonds and even, in the valleys.