A couple of years ago I ordered a book by Jen Hadfield on the strength of a vividly disgusting couplet I came across somewhere or other: “Under the broiler / turned sausages ejaculate.” (That’s turned as in forgotten and rotting—Hadfield’s idiom is Scottish, as are her eye and ear.) The book was strong, but Byssus (Picador), her new collection, is even stronger.
My sorrow's flower was so small a joy It took a winter seeing to see it as such. Numb, unsteady, stunned at all the evidence Of winter's blind imperative to destroy, I looked up, and saw the bare abundance Of a tree whose every limb was lined with snow. What I was seeing then I did not quite know But knew that one mite more would have been too much.