Vicki Feaver (born 1943) studied Music at Durham University and English University College, London and worked as a lecturer in English and Creative Writing at University College, Chichester, becoming Emeritus Professor.
Her collections have been highly praised, the second, The Handless Maiden, including both the Arvon International Poetry Competition finalist ‘Lily Pond’, and ‘Judith’, winner of the Forward Poetry Prize for Best Single Poem. The same collection was also given a Heinemann Prize and shortlisted for the Forward Prize and she has received a Hawthornden Fellowship and a Cholmondeley Award.
Talking about the chemical changes
that make a body in love shine,
or even, for months, immune to illness,
you pick a grub from the lawn
and let it lie on your palm—glowing
like the emerald-burning butt
of a cigarette. (We still haven’t touched,
only lain side by side
the half stories of our half lives.)
You call them lightning bugs
from the way the males gather in clouds
and simultaneously flash.
This is the female, fat from a diet
of liquefied snails, at the stage in her cycle
when she hardly eats; when all her energy’s
directed to drawing water and oxygen
to a layer of luciferin.
in a fragrant and luminous bid
to resist the narrative’s pull to death,
she lifts her shining green abdomen
to signal yes yes yes