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06 | 16 : Isobel Dixon

09/08/2012

Photo by Jo Kearney

It’s only a week until the 06 | 16 — The Fruitmachine extravaganza at the Fruitmarket Gallery! To entice you even more, here is Isobel Dixon, with a poem inspired by Sean Penn’s film Into the Wild — based on Jon Krakauer’s book of the same name — about the life, and death in Alaska, of Christopher McCandless:

Into the Wild

Rare flower seekers
found his car, a hulk
of desert metal,
all his burnt cash petals
long since blown.

Moose hunters in Alaska
found the magic bus:
Tolstoy, Pasternak, Thoreau,
his Taina plant lore book
and, shrunk to a husk,

Alexander Supertramp,
his lonely trail blazed back
into himself. And seared
on the undeveloped reel,
pre-image of a soul.

These traces that we leave
of all we’ve saved, or slain.
Beautiful blueberries,
seed, moose, river, stone –
the things we’ve known
and sometimes rightly named.

from The Tempest Prognosticator

Isobel Dixon was born in South Africa, where her prize-winning debut Weather Eye was published. Her poems have appeared in publications like The Paris Review, The Guardian, Penguin’s Poems for Love, The Forward Book of Poetry and Salt’s The Best British Poetry 2011. Salt published A Fold in the Map (2007) and The Tempest Prognosticator (2011), which J M Coetzee described as “a virtuoso collection”. www.isobeldixon.com

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