Book details


By Jennie Feldman

About the Book

In Jennie Feldman’s second collection, the earth-shy bird of the title flies high above the territorial rivalries of its region. From the Middle East, `Swift’ ranges across Europe to Scotland, always on the lookout for what coheres in the world and its telling encounters – with a Greek beekeeper, a cello maestro, lone figures on society’s margins, the Latin poet Lucretius in an East Jerusalem café. Buoyed by music as well as water, notably the Aegean Sea and the rare rains of the eastern Mediterranean, these poems combine delicacy and vigour in their pursuit of an elusive equilibrium.

About the Author

Jennie Feldman was born in South Africa, grew up in London and graduated from Oxford, where she studied French. A Hawthornden Fellow, she lives in Jerusalem and Oxford. Her first collection, `The Lost Notebook’, was also published by Anvil, as were her translations from Jacques Réda, `Treading Lightly: Selected Poems 1961-1975’, and the bilingual anthology `Into the Deep Street: Seven Modern French Poets 1938-2008’, co-edited and translated with Stephen Romer and shortlisted for the Popescu Prize 2011.

Table of Contents



By the Waters 13
Magdalen 14
Looking East 15
April Variations 16
Renovation 17
Jerusalem Pine 18
Slow Rock 19
Masaccio’s Adam 20
Blake’s Eve 21
I Passed a Man 22
Clearing 23
U-Bahn Return 24
Lunisolar 25
Proust on Sunday 26
Hollyhocks 28
Chopin Solo 29
For D.G. 30
Harbour 32
Mise en Abyme 33
On the Line 34
Two for Jacques
Fugue 36
At the Café Sarah-Bernhardt 37
Stills 38
Lighter 40
How It Listens 41


Kouros 45
Offshore Aphrodite 46
Funerary 47
Thunderous 48
‘Valley of the Butterflies’ 49
What If the Voyage 50
Brief Lives 51
Atekni 52
Athena Lindia 53
Frieze 54
Old House 55
Tsipoura 56
Dance 57


Of All the Trees 61
Beethoven’s Tuning Fork 62
Memo 63
Lucretius on Suleiman Street 64
Counterpoint 66
Hope Being Water 68
Swift 70
Last Movement 71

Notes 72