Poem of the North

Fifty years of the Northern Poetry Library

From Canto 1

North

Imagine it not as a point to reach – for all ways
are equal to the compass – nor as a place,
since there is always north of north – go far enough
you’ll find yourself back where you began –
but as the sense of moving forwards, going up,
going heavenwards, through the cold
and through the clouds, the ultimate ascent towards
whatever keeps you up, be it fame or love

or hunger to know what’s around the corner,
up the street or at the border: what matters

most is keeping north, and keeping north inside.

View poem in Canto