Sunday Poem – Rhian Edwards

Evening folks – I’m going to try and make this post fairly short because I’m not feeling too well again – I haven’t been completely right since I had flu a couple of weeks ago – and over the weekend I’ve had a sore throat, been feeling dizzy and having headaches – I went over to Grasmere today with a friend to an event with the winners of the New Writing North bursaries – it was a nice event but I came straight home and went to bed for a couple of hours.

Yesterday I got the early train to Sheffield for a Writing Day with the Poetry Business – it was a really wonderful day – lots of poets there that I know from all over – it was nice to catch up with people – there were about 25-30 people there.

I’ve started running this week as well – I went for my first session with a running club this Wednesday – Walney Wind Cheetahs – it was great fun – I managed to keep running for an hour so was very pleased with myself and in a wave of enthusiasm booked myself onto the Dalton 10k in a couple of months time.  And then told Clare Shaw that yes, I would be in her team for Total Warrior race.  Enthusiasm is a dangerous thing! I did do another 40 minute run on Friday but I haven’t been over the weekend, mainly because I’ve been feeling rough.  Hopefully I’ll be feeling better by Wednesday..

I’m going to post the poem up now and crawl into bed – today’s Sunday Poem is by Rhian Edwards who I first met a couple of years ago when I read for Inpress at the Southbank in London.  Rhian was reading as well and she was brilliant – she is very funny and has quirky turns of phrase, full of energy and that is before she reads any poems!  I met Rhian again at the XX Women’s Literature Festival in Cardiff a couple of weekends ago – I’ve had her book since the first time I met her and have been meaning to ask her for a poem for ages so it is nice to finally feature her poem.

The poem I’ve chosen is the first poem in her first collection ‘Clueless Dogs’ by Seren.  Rhian was the winner of the Wales Book of the Year 2013, the Roland Mathias Prize for Poetry 2013 and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2012.  If you would like to find out more about Rhian you can have a look at her website

If you would like to order her book, you can buy it from

I thought this was a good poem to have on Mother’s Day – illustrating that great institution of Parents’ Evening, probably dreaded equally by parents and teachers.  I love the wit in this poem and its cleverness but especially the ending which is surprising and funny.  I’m sorry I can’t form more coherent thoughts tonight – please feel free to comment though, especially if you enjoyed the poem!

Parents’ Evening – Rhian Edwards

We feel she may be cheating
at reading and spelling.
She has failed to grasp the planets
and the laws of science,
has proven violent in games
and fakes asthma for attention.

She is showing promise with the Odyssey,
has learned to darn starfish
and knitted a patch for the scarecrow.
She seems to enjoy measuring rain,
pretending her father is a Beatle
and insists upon your death
as the conclusion to all her stories.


2 comments on “Sunday Poem – Rhian Edwards

  1. Hate to say this, as a former trainer (!) of primary teachers, but this poem nails the slightly evasive quality of language that I grew wearily resigned to as father of 4.That and its occasionally odd syntax. I love ‘she has failed to grasp the planets’ and the presumably unwitting surrealism of darning starfish. It’s a disingenuous and artful poem, is this. And it put a grin on my face. Ta!

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