Scott Elder lives in Auvergne, France. Since 2014 his poetry has been widely published in the UK and abroad in magazines including The Moth, Orbis, Cake, Poetry Salzburg, Cyphers, The Journal, and Nimrod. His debut pamphlet, Breaking Away, was published in 2015 by Poetry Salzburg and his first collection, ‘Part of the Dark’, was published in 2017 by Dempsey & Windle Publishing. He was runner-up in the Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2016, highly commended in the Bristol Poetry Prize 2018, and shortlisted in the Fish Poetry Prize 2017 and the Plough Prize 2017.
PART OF THE DARK by Scott Elder
Mandy Pannett comments on 'Part of the Dark':
How, as in the opening poem, can we see a portrait at midnight? Who is the enigmatic 'lady' glimpsed and hinted at throughout? These are poems of mystery and question, paradox and ambiguity....We are on a journey with this fine collection. Savour the quest.
Sheenagh Pugh, reviewing 'Part of the Dark', writes:
You will be disappointed if you want poems to be like crossword clues that can be solved and filled in; there are plenty of enigmas and ambiguities here, and I suspect some are too personal to be easily decoded. Think of them as word-pictures and you will be closer to the mark. I don't know how many are actually ekphrastic poems, but several sound as if they could be, and gain their power by etching an image on the mind.
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A middle-range ballistic missile was intercepted
and destroyed while you washed your cup
and glimpsed a wren through the kitchen window.
It was busy with twigs and knew exactly what to do.
On the table a bowl of fruit: bananas, apples, kiwis--
strangers awaiting your knife and tongue.
At 10:42 you opened the door and sniffed the air
as might a cat before returning to its piece of meat.
You sensed that something was wrong.
© Scott Elder
From PART OF THE DARK (in reference to the painting by Majlen Sanchez on the cover of the first edition published by D&W Publishing, September 2017)
Let's run through it again.
Cheeks—deep pink (too deep).
Hands—closed petals in her lap.
The young lady is sitting in
...call it an elm.
Two blood-red horses share her limb.
They're screamingly small and seem to be blind.
Nothing will come of this, she muttered in Finnish.
Don't worry, he whispered, apart from the pink
all is utterly perfect. She looked aside.
The sky wilted for an instant.
Come my dear, we're nearly there.
She lifted her eyes. The look was ancient.
It pierced the canvas and went on forever.
© Scott Elder