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

dream-tatters


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.