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Window for a Small Blue Child

Gerrie Fellows

Window for a Small Blue Child
Categories: 21st Century, First Collections, New Zealand, Scottish, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (64 pages)
(Pub. Nov 2007)
Out of Stock
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  • A boundary of stiff lace intricacies
    of snowflakes imprinted
    like the cut-out faces of children
    hushed in the dark of a puppet-show

    Steam condenses on a window pane

    The snow child melts and vanishes

                                 'A Folk Tale'
    Window for a Small Blue Child is the story of the poet's experience of in vitro fertilisation, a sequence of poems underscored by the seasons and by the biological clock of a woman in her forties as she navigates the risks and choices, the drugs and rituals of fertility treatment. In a voice which moves between narrative and image, between lyrical experience and medical text she explores what it is to be engaged with a technique so much of which is enacted in a woman's body yet which takes its name from forty-eight hours of events in a lab. In the contemporary fairy tale of IVF science and nature interact, bodies become maps, but who is telling the story? In these poems, windows may open into gardens or bodies or dreams, and folk tales jostle with the images of science: its scans and procedures, the labs and Petri dishes which might or might not cradle a future child.


    I  TheInfertility Cycle

    The Lily and the Egg 11

    Birthday Card for the Autumn Equinox            13

    Poem for a Peptide Hormone            14

    A True Copy of Her Last Menstrual Cycle   15

    Oestrogen            16

    A Pink and Blue Poem             17

    A Folk Tale            19

    Information            20

    Dream Baby (I)            21

    Ancestral Luck            22

    Her Body            23

    In the Shape of a Map  24

    A Box for Love            26

    A Cytohistoarchitecture   27

    Dream Baby (II)       28

    Conversation (Blue Tablecloth)            29

    Wish List            30

    Blue Mountain Postcard: Six Slides from a Testicular Biopsy  31

    A Film Made in a Cold Light            32

    In Answer to the Question, What is Possible?            33

    Window for a Small Blue Child    34

    Absence             35


    II  ThePellucid Zone

    Invocation            39

    Ice Baby            40

    Picture Show            41

    Numbers and Leaves 42

    The Light Box             43

    Infertility Rite I: Body Clock             44

    Still Life with Cup      45

    Infertility Rite II: In River Light     46

    Blood Text            47

    Infertility Rite III: Blue Window            48

    Timing  50

    A Map Showing Interior Space            51

    Photomicrograph I      52

    Centrifugal Image   53

    Night Laboratory            54

    Photomicrograph II     55

    The Ghost in the Machine            56

    Photomicrograph III    57

    The Arbor Vitae    58

    Box for the Future Tense            60

    Intimations             61

    The Future Tense   62

    What the Body Promises            65

    Image for a Sonar Room            66


    III  TheFlowerings of the Possible             67



    Glossary            76

    Notes and Acknowledgements      80


    Gerrie Fellows was born in New Zealand and now lives in Scotland with her husband and daughter. She trained as a painter at art schools in London and then worked in various countries as a life model, a secretary and a writer-in-residence. Her first collection, Technologies and other poems, was ... read more
    'Though her work is often eloquent and moving, Gerrie Fellows is not afraid to be austere, and she is never tempted by mere effect. Reading Window for a Small Blue Child, we discover a poet who understands that bodies are both magical and treacherous, and she illuminates both the magic and the treachery in lyrics of grace, restraint and a spare, but very persuasive beauty.'
    John Burnside
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