Tag Archives: Wendy Klein

Wendy Klein

Hooked by Otters
Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell: 1947-1977

She feels angled for when he offers
to record her poems – that microphone,
but she’ll call him Cal — Caliban, Caligula
oh falling fire and piercing cry…
though he’ll never call her Liz.

From Cape Breton she writes of auks, of puffins,
ravens — enormous, with rough black beards
under their beaks. Together they grope for
a language in wildlife,

though being an armadillo, he’s slow to see – replies
puffins are in his book of New England birds;
he’s never seen one, but he’s catching

her drift—hints at further recordings, that if
she comes to Boston in fall, they can go
to galleries or see otters.

Hooked by otters, she re-jigs her diary;
sends a postcard from Key West —
a picture of a sea turtle, describes

a saltwater pool, a marine life, watching
her friends swim about in a sort of green fire
like luminous grass.

He dives in with trout fishing — his grandfather,
Nova Scotia — praises her fish poems, laments
that all his fish become symbols — lobsterman, nets…

gifts her a copy of The Compleat Angler
for Christmas. Someone must be first
to sign off with affection,
with love
though he’ll never find the right moment
to propose, because, like a loon, he needs
so much space — sixty feet to take off from water —

Otter woman, fisher woman
she prefers a burrow
near the water’s edge

Oh Caliban, Caligula
fun it always seemed to leave you a loss.


Hooked by Otters by Wendy Klein was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (March/April 2020) judged by Mandy Pannett.


Judge’s Report & Results, SLQ Poetry Competition (March/April 2020)

Judge’s Report, Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (March/April 2020) By Mandy Pannett The twelve poems selected quickly made their presence felt. Unfortunately, so did quite a few others which caused me quite a lot of uncertainty and mind-changing. There were … Continue reading

Wendy Klein


June rain alters everything; the way
colours wash out to black and white
or sometimes sepia with unexpected scribbles
of green as if a naughty child had taken
a felt-tip to the black and white drawings
in that book about Mervyn Peake, who drew
the liberation of Bergen-Belsen – a girl
with limbs like pipes, her head a china skull.

The cleverness of a child to find any leaves
to colour-in amongst the concrete and the corpses,
but there; a chance tangle of weeds at the foot
of a barbed-wire fence, a gate leaning
off its hinges, half-blocked by the branch
of a fallen tree, young twigs splayed out
against the wet ground like an owl crashed
into a windscreen, a kind of child’s eye beauty,
but every bit as wretched – as dead.

Leaves by Wendy Klein was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (February 2019) judged by Mandy Pannett.