This month’s poem The Star in the East was written in response to a painting of a winter scene at dusk. Writer Iris Anne Lewis said: ‘I was struck by the ambiguity of the light in the sky – was it the sun or the moon? – and tried to convey this by coining the word ‘sun-moon-light’. I continued to make use of hyphenation between words to convey the sense of otherness that imbued the painting – the snow-gilded path leading into the distance, the strangely compelling trees and the feeling that something lay beyond the confines of the painting.’
Kim Harvey in Palette Poetry said of the poem:
I admire this sturdy micropoem with its creative use of hyphenation/compounding to describe the winter sky and how the East Star looms, a bright light always present but hidden beyond the horizon. The way Lewis ends the poem by describing the star as shining “ox-blood-bright” simultaneously brings to mind pagan ritual and the ox and lambs beside the Christ child in the crèche. This poem is so lovely and compact, yet somehow all-encompassing. To find out more about Palette Poetry click here.
The Star in the East was first published in Black Bough Poetry Christmas and Winter Anthology Volume 1. To read the poem click here or on the Poem of the Month logo on our website. The illustration is by Michael Sykes.