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August 2018


A Poem By Michael Lee Rattigan

Issue 17 features the poem “Place" by Michael Lee Rattigan (@ml_rattigan), which you can read and listen to below. In correspondence with our poetry editor, Rattigan wrote the following about his poem:

“Place“ is underpinned by a near-death narrative, which allows for a freeing-up of possibility, so that the poem as it goes can weave between different strands of thought and experience, somehow finding its own way through them. The two-column form allows for a dialectical strain, a back and forth between this demand for an enlargement of vision and the sense of being uprooted from a particular time, place and set of circumstances. It’s a bit like seeing the “deep field image” of the universe for the first time and realising that every point of light isn’t just a star, but an entire galaxy whose light has travelled billions of years just to reach us. Poetry, if it is to survive, must be able to float over such fathoms and to do so fearlessly.

Here is a recording of “Place," as read by the poet:

The deep field image, which Rattigan referred to in his statement above, is a composite photograph taken by the Hubble Space telescope of a relatively empty region of space near the Big Dipper. Its “emptiness” to the naked eye gave astronomers a window to some of the most distant and therefore oldest parts of the known universe. This video begins with the deep field image and zooms in on some of those farthest and faintest galaxies:


MICHAEL LEE RATTIGAN is a poet and translator based in Caterham, United Kingdom. He has translated Fernando Pessoa’s Alberto Caeiro: Complete Poems (Rufus Books, 2007). More poems and translations have appeared in PN Review, The Los Angeles Review, Asymptote, Gobbet Magazine, The Fiend Journal, and The Black Herald Literary Magazine, and in Selected Writings of C. Vallejo (ed. Joseph Mulligan, Wesleyan University Press, 2015). His first poetry collection, Liminal, was published in 2012 (Rufus Books). His latest collection, Hiraeth, was published alongside its French translation in 2016 (Black Herald Press).

Issue 17 is available wherever SAND is sold.