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Hugo Williams: a poem

Picture ©BenjaminSullivan

Cherry Blossom

The saddest spring

of venomous breezes

ominous clouds

our red-letter days

torn off unused

our plans on hold

no walking out

in early April

rainbow weather

only hurrying strangers

deserted pavements

enemy terrain

the cheerful tears

of cherry blossom flowers

fall round about

like the silk and satin

pink and white lace


that fell to our feet

and were happily

kicked to one side

until this jealous

second winter came

stalking between us.

Hugo Williams worked at London Magazine from 1961 to 1970 and has also edited poetry for the New Statesman. He is the author of more than a dozen collections of poetry, including West End Final (2009), Collected Poems (2002), Billy’s Rain (1999), which won the T.S. Eliot Prize, and his Eric Gregory Award–winning debut, Symptoms of Loss (1965). A selection of his freelance writing appears in the essay collection Freelancing: Adventures of a Poet (1995). His additional honours include the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the Cholmondeley Award.


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