Tag Archives: writing poetry

A poem to read in the bath… ‘My Life’s Stem was Cut’ by Helen Dunmore #poetry

What a glorious, gentle, heartbreaking poem this is about dying. Helen Dunmore, novelist, poet, winner of the Orange Prize, died too soon on June 5, 2017. In a slim volume of poetry, Inside the Wave, I found ‘My Life’s Stem was Cut’. I defy you to read it without feeling a combination of sadness and hope.

Helen Dunmore

[photo: Caroline Forbes]

Because of copyright restrictions I am unable to reproduce the poem in full, but please search it out in an anthology or at your local library.

‘My life’s stem was cut,
But quickly, lovingly,
I was lifted up,
I heard the rush of the tap
And I was set in water
In the blue vase…’

Helen Dunmore



Read these other excerpts, and perhaps find a new poet to love:-
Because I Could Not Stop for Death’ by Emily Dickinson
Japanese Maple’ by Clive James
I Loved Her Like the Leaves’ by Kakinonoto Hitomaro

Read my reviews of Helen Dunmore’s novels, The Lie, Exposure, Birdcage Walk.

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A #poem to read in the bath: ‘My Life’s Stem was Cut’ by Helen Dunmore https://wp.me/p5gEM4-428 via @SandraDanby