Simon Currie

Simon Currie

Simon Currie was born in Leeds in 1938. He became a consultant neurologist there. After Open University courses on literature and the Enlightenment, he gained a PhD at Sheffield Hallam University on medical interaction in colonial India and West Indies.

He is a member of the Beehive Poets, Bradford, and of the Pennine Poets. He lives in Lower Wharfedale. He has two children. His wife, who died in 2009, was the paediatrician Jane Wynne.

He read at The Bridlington Festival in 2014 and the StAnza Festival in 2015.

Imagine a Forest was published by Smith/Doorstop in 2010 and The Isle of Lewis Chessman was published in 2013.




'Exposing human folly and celebrating human kindness, Simon Currie's poetry never fails to delight in the odd and unexpected, from outrageous uncles and pompous surgeons, to the ghosts of Romans and Icelandic trysts. Formally adroit and movingly lyrical, here is a poet with an eye and ear alive to what is hidden or unspoken, to life's often sinister subtext' — Anna Crowe

'I've never read a poem by Simon Currie that has not in some way moved or amused me, very often both at once. Read him for accessibility, for wit, for the elegance of his imagery, but don't expect any easily realised epiphany or pat affecting conclusion — this poetry is deeply mined, and comes clear and burnished to the surface' — Adrian Buckner


On his throne, the Norse king looks anxious,
mind a blank, not so much King Lear raving
as my father, withdrawn, two years in the bin,
one moment not knowing me, next, in touch:
“It’s my birthday soon. Will I be out for it?”

The eyes focus on nothing, lips compressed
as if he is vexed, or maybe he has mislaid
his dentures. Subdued, he grips a scabbard.
I have seen hands locked that way for hours,
fixed on a chair-back, rattling a door-knob.

On the ward, he ignores all the courtiers
around him, even Sister, masquerading
as the Queen. Stuck here on the board,
no more than puppet, he gets moved on
to suit others. Until checkmated.

They lift him still seated on the throne,
to be shoved one square at a time.
He seems a pawn but, if his spouse were taken,
a real one could become the replacement.
For him, there is no such opportunity.

It used to be thought of as a game:
hands, fresh from fighting blood feuds,
marshalled pieces carved from walrus tusk,
to capture an opponent’s carls or castles.
But his mind-games are over.

Titles by this author

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