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About this poet

Don Paterson is a Scottish poet and translator who has authored several books of poetry, including Rain (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009), Landing Light (Graywolf Press, 2004), and The White Lie (Graywolf Press, 2001). His honors include all three Forward Prizes, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, and the Whitbread Poetry Prize. He is also the only poet to have won the T. S. Eliot Prize twice. He teaches at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Thread

Jamie made his landing in the world
so hard he ploughed straight back into the earth.
They caught him by the head of his one breath
and pulled him up.  They don’t know how it held.
And so today thank what higher will
brought us to here, to you and me and Russ,
the great twin-engined swaying wingspan of us 
roaring down the back of Kirrie Hill

and your two-year-old lungs somehow out-revving 
every engine in the universe.
All that trouble just to turn up the dead
was all I thought that long week.  Now the thread
is holding all of us: look at our tiny house, 
son, the white dot of your mother waving.

Copyright © 2005 by Don Paterson. From Landing Light. Used with permission of Graywolf Press.

Copyright © 2005 by Don Paterson. From Landing Light. Used with permission of Graywolf Press.

Don Paterson

Don Paterson is a Scottish poet and translator who has authored several books of poetry, including Rain (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009), Landing Light (Graywolf Press, 2004), and The White Lie (Graywolf Press, 2001).

by this poet

poem
I love all films that start with rain:
rain, braiding a windowpane
or darkening a hung-out dress
or streaming down her upturned face;

one big thundering downpour
right through the empty script and score
before the act, before the blame, 
before the lens pulls through the frame

to where the woman sits alone