Daphne Gloag & How Long is Not Long

Daphne Gloag is the new Featured Writer with her exquisite Cinnamon Press pamphlet How Long is Not Long?   And what a huge question that apparently simple title poses. How Long is Not Long is actually a sequence of poems,  all exploring the language and narrative of time.   Daphne’s poems are intimate meditations centred on loss which, for her, is a bright light she seems to always move through.  It is love which transcends time and which is not obliterated by mortality.  The poetry is sometimes laid out like a series of gasps, where gaps between words and lines create pauses for thought and accumulate into a series of spaces where words seem inadequate.

I was captivated from the very first poem, On liking time, which combines humour and sadness:

One day we lost time, took

a wrong turning on the way to the station.

Nothing like that here, they said; but at last

we found it in lost property safe and sound.

We breathed again. 


Many lines in many poems shortened my breath too:  understated, and crafted, these poems ring so light and conversationally for all their depth of thought on the human condition, for all the grief they contain:

…the wood of love I remember always  

we walked there xxx  counted

magpies in those trees 

xxxxxxxxxxx One for sorrow he’d say

 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx   two for joy


It has been a privilege to have known Daphne for some years and her poems just become more and more powerful .  I much enjoyed A Compression of Distances and Beginnings  (both also published by Cinnamon Press) which also weave scientific concepts with human experience.

You won’t find much about Daphne on the internet but she is often to be found at London readings and travels indefatigably.    I will leave you with this beautiful poem


A dark pile of rocks: once

it was a wall of a house sheltering

minutes, sheltering hours; the hole at its centre,


a window once, gave light to lives.

 I peer though that empty space looking

for views of my life. Is there in ruin of rock,


crumbling years, grass with earth showing through?

But now I see nothing beyond the space

except a blue exuberance of light,


the lit sky of the present moment. 


Just to add, while on the subject of Time and where does it go….   I have been absent from this blog for a while because of our Australian family visiting us and it proving to be a difficult time with my husband’s ongoing medical issues.  I will endeavour to be more organised in future!


And further, if you are receiving this blog please be aware that I don’t use your contact details for any purpose whatsoever and you are, of course, free to unsubscribe at any time.  But you know that!



About Rebecca Gethin

Rebecca Gethin is a poet and a novelist. Cinnamon Press published her third collection, All the Time in the World in 2017. Another pamphlet is forthcoming with Three Drops Press. Her second novel, What the horses heard, was published by Cinnamon Press in May 2014. Her second poetry collection - A Handful of Water - was published by Cinnamon in 2013. Her first - River is the Plural of Rain - was published by Oversteps Books in 2009. Her novel Liar Dice won the Cinnamon Press Novel Writing Award in 2010 and was published in 2011. She lives on Dartmoor and writes occasional pieces about wildlife and nature. Her poems appear in a variety of poetry magazines and in several anthologies.
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4 Responses to Daphne Gloag & How Long is Not Long

  1. I saw Daphne again last week at Ver Poets where she read from this book – it’s great to see it featured here and to give readers’ time’ to digest her words; ‘Window ‘is wonderful. It was good to see and hear her again – a book well worth owning – you absorb more and more in those words with each read.. I so admire her energy.

  2. How synchronistic. She sure gets around. Thanks, Valerie. X

  3. Daphne’s poems are exquisite, these are a joy to read

  4. I’ll make sure Daphne hears this!

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