The Poetry Review — submissions for non-members of The Poetry Society
Submitted on August 17, 2022
Titles & no. of poems submitted
Selima’s snail 1
I felt somewhat riled by Selima Hill’s poem “The Snail”, published in The Poetry Review Summer edition and on the website. I have much respect for this poet’s extensive oeuvre and long-established career, but the anthropocentric and speciesist tone of this poem didn’t go down well with me on this particular day. I felt compelled to write a little counter-poem.
My world was a ditch, rich in everything
I needed, when I was plucked — my gills flapped
from fear — from my garden home. Life had been
interrupted abruptly. Frightening,
the pink deformed blob appeared in my sky
many times, this fleshy mass hovering.
I learned to associate it with force
feeding of ever more exotic food-
stuff that left my radula tingling.
Alone, I would just zone out for days
on end, there was nothing to do but look
for a way out from the top of a rock.
A sinful waste of life, I never had
a chance to perform the important tasks
of my species. I would explore the boundary
of my prison, looking for a cranny,
a small crack, in the slippery container,
to wiggle my way through and out at night.
Robbed of my meaning, I hardly slept.
It is absurd to imagine me happy.