Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘Polynya’: a poem by Helen Mort


‘Poetry And – Women in the Arctic’, a free event – in partnership with Hercules Editions curated by Ruth Padel, with poet Helen Mort, travel author and biographer Sara Wheeler, and award-winning artist Emma Stibbon, takes place on Tuesday 16 October in King’s College London’s unique space Chapters on the Strand, 7-9.30pm. Please register for this free event, with free drinks reception after, here

Below is a poem by Helen from her sequence The Singing Glacier, recently published by Hercules Editions.






Surely the heart
must have polynya -
places where it’s never
hardened into ice.

I say you make
me melt
and I’m lying again

beside you
my body is already
water running
so cold
it freezes
the teeth

and the child
I never was
in the stream
and makes
her hands
into a cup

the shape of a heart,
or her best
of one.