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Featured Poem: Røros, by Julie-ann Rowell

Written by Chris Routledge, 7th July 2008

Julie-ann Rowell is a poet whose first pamphlet collection, Convergence, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her new collection, Letters North is published by Brodie Press.  Julie-ann will be reading at the Ways With Words Literature Festival, Dartington Hall, on Saturday, 12th July, 2008 at 11am. For further information and to book tickets, go to:

Røros in northern Norway is a strange place to experience an epiphany, and I was also there on business, not pleasure, and yet, amongst the preserved slag heaps and the sparse town, came a moment of revelation about the simplicity of happiness -- Julie-ann Rowell


There was a moment in the old copper town
when I thought I had found something out

about the deep-down universal, as the German girl
and I ambled to the stone church

discussing chance meetings on trains,
divine connections with strangers, relatives

from generations long gone. ‘We all knew
each other once’, said Angela. So the few hours

together in the mining town was a revival
of past ties, friendships, broken promises.

I think I loved her when she embraced me
and said how to find the past right here and now.

To not be afraid. The church came into it –
built in 1784 for the miners and their families.

Prayers said each Sunday for the mine owners
who occupied the prime seats. But so what for social

distinctions if we all knew each other once?
I took my seat amongst the spirits of miners,

three hundred years of them. I was jubilant with
Angela, who was smiling a kind of universal smile.


Julie-ann wrote a recommendation of Edward Thomas's 'Adlestrop' for us back in November 2007. 'Røros' is published here by permission. Here's the link to her website.

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