To Raymond Carver with Thanks – Abigail Elizabeth Ottley Wyatt

To Raymond Carver with Thanks

You are the only poet
I have ever read yet
going cover to cover like a novel.
Is that a confession?
I guess if it is then you
would most likely approve.

Also I should say I turn
pages too soon
I am so eager to discover
what will happen.
I suspect my pain,
my failures seem smaller
in direct proportion to yours.

In part I think I consume
you so greedily
because you ring true
like fine glassware.
If you are my poison,
my cup of bitter herbs,
I think I will sink you,
knock you back,
put you down the hatch
in good style.

I like it that while diving,
you sank to the bottom
and played dead with the mud
cool on your belly.
Sometimes it is easier
not to surface,
not to rise up
into the light.


Abigail Elizabeth Ottley Wyatt writes poetry and short fiction. Her work has appeared in more than a hundred magazines, journals and anthologies. The author of ‘Old Soldiers, Old Bones and Other Stories’, she works from her home in Cornwall.

3 thoughts on “To Raymond Carver with Thanks – Abigail Elizabeth Ottley Wyatt

  1. I do like this poem a lot. It has a real sense of both the intimate and the public – the poet speaking to Carver in a language he would understand – and the poem speaking to me about Carver, and about me, somehow, too. Really strong piece.


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