Hilary Gilmore, from 'Afternoon':'
Then the sun came out
And everybody for a few seconds
That their coffee was undrunk, their heart broken
Their shoulders a little sadder than ever their youth expected
The city’s bronzeblue windows
Sang back to the low winter sun
A song of now, yes, and radiance
A lightbow reminder that
Sometimes the heart stops and
The soul is golden
Suddenly the wind brought the promise of berries,
a full-flavoured, round ripe red feeling
found under every cerise stain.
There was dimension to the wind,
something that could be squeezed and
laughingly churned for life,
a source for wine and wicked delicious richness.
It was the feel of the breath drawn before an aria,
the shape of a hip, the heat of a chest,
a cheer, long gone and near-forgotten.
(Complete versions of the above poems along with two others by Hilary can be found in the first Firebird anthology, Resurgence.)
All have contributed to the current Firebird anthology, Resurgence.. Note that all writing on this site, including draft versions, is copyright.
Hilary Gilmore was brought up in Sydney and returned there in 2013 after eleven years living in Britain and Eastern Europe. Although she has written poetry all her life she only started making it public after settling once more in her native Australia. Since then she has been shortlisted for the 2014 Newcastle Poetry Prize and has been widely published, including in the Emma Press anthologies Motherhood and Dance.
As an historian, curator and archæologist, Hilary’s professional life otherwise revolves round the cultural and physical poetry of material things, especially textiles and clothing. She has published widely in these fields, including a monograph with Yale University Press in 2019.
About her technique she says, ‘I have a synæsthetic relationship with words, and to me they look like a painting, all with their own colours and flavours and feelings. To write poetry is to compose a whole picture in words. The world catches at my observation and often the only way to express that is through poetry.’
Hilary spent the pandemic lockdown of 2020 in Wales, remotely teaching multiple university classes.
‘Academic work has largely sapped my right brain,’ she comments on the tension between poetic creativity and intellectual prowess. ‘But it will revive.’