New Poem by Faber Academy alumnus Rishi Dastidar

A striking poem from last year’s Faber Academy Becoming A Poet Anthology, this. Rishi Dastidar was born in 1977 and educated at Mansfield College, Oxford. Since graduating he’s had poems published in The Delinquent and by Tate Modern, and was a runner-up in this year’s Cardiff International Poetry Competition.

Matchstick Empire

So what do you say, now give me a
nice cup of hot, good, real English tea.
 – Wilhelm II on entering exile, 1918

He followed the laws of expansion
the way his tippling grandmother had,
but alas ended up so unworthy a sovereign

that he could only wear blue serge suits,
loden capes and a hunting hat –
even though he couldn’t any more,

nor ride; just walk, feed the ducks
and cut down trees, twenty thousand
of them by his seventieth birthday.

He joked it was the only gedankensplitting
his people would listen to now.
The logs went to the faithful poor,

the only retinue left, or became matchsticks
given to the curious, with no mention made
of the moral passing between cupped hands.

This year’s  Faber Academy Becoming A Poet course starts in October and counts the incomparable Jo Shapcott, alongside Daljit Nagra, as a course director as well as a list of guest tutors which includes Maurice Riordan, Heather Phillipson and Simon Armitage. Fuller details are here or from Ian Ellard on (0)207 927 3827.

  1. August 5th, 2011

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