Sue Wood – ‘Birth’ and ‘Land’s End’

Charlotte Lindsay: 'How Babies were Born'
Charlotte Lindsay: ‘How Babies were Born’


Sue Wood’s two poems ‘Becoming Sand’ and ‘Postcard: Salt Marsh with Cows’ appear in our anthology Lines Underwater. We loved the gorgeous imagery in these poems, and the sense of a visceral yearning for the absent sea in ‘Postcard’.  You can read these two poems by picking up a copy of Lines Underwater: ‘a beautiful, mesmeric piece of work’ according to a recent review. Sue has also donated two further poems, ‘Birth’, and ‘Land’s End’ to our website, take a look at the downloadable pdf:


Land’s End and Birth – Sue Wood


Sue Wood explains,
“My writing has to fit round a life that is always busy with running creative writing projects, gardening, being a grandmother and running a guest house. So it occurs in fits and starts: when I have a theme or poem on the go  I seem to make more time for writing. I find attending Poetry School courses or going on an Arvon course gives me useful deadlines, and it is a treat to be a participant and not the leader of a writing group. I wrote ‘Becoming Sand’ in a writing workshop about travel – it is almost unaltered apart from the ending that I’m still not sure about. ‘Postcard: Salt Marsh with Cows’  came from a workshop led by Penny Shuttle. We were each given a landscape postcard and this one intrigued me by its absence of actual cows. The idea of shifting realities governs the poem, as well as my memories of the Norfolk fen country, its huge emptiness.


“‘Birth’ is one of several poems written close to the births of grandchildren and not only have I been moved by the way (given modern science) we come to know unborn children through  early scans, but the sense that we all pass from  a comforting, solitary, enclosed, watery world in the womb to the discomforts of our survival within human society. I had been reading Darwin at this time so evolution was in my mind.


“‘Land’s End’  is a memory of  a walk I did with my husband several years ago in early evening out on the Cornish peninsular.  I have always been attracted  to the ‘edges’ of land – where  the world we know and perhaps take for granted ends and becomes abruptly different, alien and disconcerting.  This is an experience that makes us know our own  human limitations, re-assess what and who we are, where we sit in the universe, why ‘love’ binds us to each other.”
Sue Wood works as a creative writer in various health care situations. She is widely published in anthologies and journals, including the Forward Poetry Anthology, 2010. Her first collection Imagine yourself as water won a Cinnamon Press Award for Poetry.