The Little Jockey - Ruth Marden

The Little Jockey
£ 4.00

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Ruth Marden's early teaching career gave her the opportunity to work first in Switzerland and later in Greece, where she lived for over nine years. Despite bursts of literary activity in childhood, she didn't start writing seriously until her forties, when one evening in the midst of lesson preparation, she suddenly found herself 'answering' a poem by Thomas Hardy.

In The Little Jockey, her debut collection, Ruth's lifelong love of literature is clearly apparent. She writes with grace and care, and just a touch of mischief.

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This draggle of date-stamps,
faint, uncertainly placed,
ought to connect us.

I’ve wondered about the others.
Was I the only reader
to find the children precocious,

muddle identities
(keep flipping back
to check the family tree),

respond with yes, and yes—but then
mistake a meaning?

We sit in our separate rooms,
anonymous,

though we probably live quite close.

We’ve warmed to the writer’s voice,
joined in
as citizens of this book.

Many a passable friendship
is based on less.