The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

S. J. Litherland: 1 Poem Published

 By S.J. Litherland (UK). Published in Issue 30.

Traducción por Karenina Osnaya.

The North East Special Edition: Displacement (Part 2).



She gives me five words to take to Warwickshire.

But none fit. There is no magnificence in tiny fields

hedged with many trees, stable, enduring, no

provocation from the village cricket pitch closed

down for winter, or even a little shambles in the

orderly fireworks and roped off bonfire. Only flames

have ancient tongues, ceaseless, primeval, talk

to the air but nothing quizzical. They die down,

brooding over ashes like wolves over their kill.

Is there a paltriness in my contentment to be home?

I breathe the air of Warwickshire at the end

of a lifetime, passion no longer my concern.

In dull November, the trees expose their bones.

I take my age to my birthplace. The traveller

looks back towards home, writes Po Chu-i

in his little poem. There is a word, Topophilia

coined by geographer Yi-Fu Tuan from topos

(place) and philo (love), a love not insignificant.

My mother tongue comforts me with its chime.

I brood over cadences of my lost parlance –

there is no word for Warwickshire except time.

Image: Richard E. Hook 



Por S.J. Litherland (Traducción por Karenina Osnaya)

Ella me da cinco palabras para llevar a Warwickshire.

Pero ninguna queda. No hay magnificencia en pequeños campos

rodeado de muchos árboles, estable, resistiendo,

sin provocación por el cierre del campo de cricket por

el invierno, o si quiera un poco de desorden en los

ordenados fuegos artificiales y fogatas controladas. Sólo flamas

tienen lenguas antiguas, incesantes, primitivas, palabras

al aire pero nada perplejo. Se mueren,

taciturnos sobre las cenizas como lobos sobre sus presas.

Existe algo risorio en mi alegría de estar en casa?

Yo respiro el aire de Warwickshire al final

De una vida, pasión no es ya mi interés.

En gris Noviembre, los árboles exponen mis huesos.

Yo llevo mi edad a mi lugar natal. El viajero

ve atrás hacia el lugar, escribe Po Chu-i

en su pequeño poema. Hay un mundo, Topophilia

acuñado por el geógrafo Yi-Fu Tuan de topo

(lugar) y philo (amor), un amor no insignifgicante.

Mi lengua madre me reconoforta con su repique.

Yo añoro sobre cadencias de mi perdido parlar-

no hay palabra para Warwickshire excepto el tiempo.

About the poet

 S.J. Litherland born and bred in Warwickshire has lived in Durham since 1965. Her sixth poetry collection The Absolute Bonus of Rain (Flambard 2010) revisits a forgotten England. A sequence The Homage was inspired by the final troubled season of former England cricket captain Nasser Nussain (Iron 2006). The Work of the Wind, published the same year by Flambard, charts her turbulent relationship with fellow poet and partner Barry MacSweeney who died in 2000. Other collections: The Apple Exchange (Flambard 1999), Flowers of Fever (Iron 1992), The Long Interval (Bloodaxe 1986). Anthologies include New Women Poets (Bloodaxe) and Forward Book of Poetry 2001.

‘Bad Light’ from The Homage was selected for sports anthology Not Just a Game (Five Leaves Press) and broadcast on Radio 3 in the Words and Music Series.

She has won two Northern Writers’ Awards, 1993, 2000. Her poems have been commended twice in the National Poetry Competition: ‘Songster’, 2003 and ‘Springtime of the Nations’, 2012.


Karenina Osnaya is from Mexico City and is a regular contributor and translator to The Ofi Press.