Ian Crockatt is a prize-winning poet and poetry translator. He has published ten collections of poetry and poetry translations. These include Original Myths (Cruachan Publications), a series of poems vividly re-working Old Testament stories (nominated for the Saltire Society’s Scottish Book of the Year Award in 2000), and The Crucifixion Bird which, differently, re-imagines New Testament stories. His book Pure Contradiction, Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke won the Society of Authors’ Schlegel-Tieck prize for the best book of translation into English from German in 2013. Crimsoning the Eagle’s Claw, The Viking Poems of Rognvaldr Kali Kolsson, Earl of Orkney (Arc Publications) was a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation in 2014. His latest book is The Song Weigher: Complete Poems of Egill Skallagrímsson, tenth century Viking and Skald.
Joseph, as Undertaker
If I care for you like a father
it has nothing to do with belief.
As an instrument of feeling
flesh can hardly be beaten, but the mind
in its cell longs too –
the best are tortured by angels.
These offerings are yours for keeps –
ointment for your piercings,
rouge for your lips, pennies
for your inward-turning eyes.
Don’t go jumping to conclusions
if sponging these palms
I remember a child’s
and prove father enough to weep.
From The Crucifixion Bird (Northwords, 2002)