From the archives: ‘Results’, by Siân Hughes

Anthony Wilson


I first encountered Siân Hughes‘s poems sitting around a table with some talented teenage poets at the Arvon Foundation‘s writing centre at Lumb Bank. We were looking at her poem ‘Bear-Awareness and Self-Defence Classes’ (subtitled ‘Or Fathersand Husbands’). Like many of Siân’s poems it is short and made of words and sentences an eight-year old could read. But while its subject matter is about what happens to some children, it is absolutely not a poem for all children.

I will be honest, as I listened to the discussion of Siân’s poem I did wonder if I was missing something. I wondered if the poem was all it was cracked up to be, these plain words arranged over three ordinary quatrains, which suddenly just stop.

And then it hit me. Like being winded. Like waking up in a sweat. Like the air leaving the room.


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