’tis the season

Jun 3, 2021 poetry appreciation

For wild swimming, that is (or, as a friend of mine commented acidly the other day, “what we used to call going for a swim in the river“). Whatever we call it, it’s one of the pleasures of summer for me. So I was delighted to find this poem online and thus be able to share with you ‘Skinny-Dipping in Vathy‘ by Barbara Quick.

I particularly enjoy the fact that the poem isn’t about sleek young things frolicking in the waves: these are people of more advanced years, and the poem prioritises how things feel rather than what they look like. There’s a wonderful attention to details of the felt experience, particularly in stanza two. I love, too, the reminder that you can ‘[feel] so alive and filled with joy’ at any age. A great counterbalance to our youth-and-beauty obsessed (Western) Celebrity Culture. Hurrah!

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