Growing up in England and feeling half-Pakistani, I felt a bit on the edge of things. Sometimes that can be a good place to be, a vantage point.

I Would Like to be a Dot in a Painting by Miró

 

Barely distinguishable from other dots,
it’s true, but quite uniquely placed.
And from my dark centre

I’d survey the beauty of the linescape
and wonder – would it be worthwhile
to roll myself towards the lemon stripe,

Centrally poised, and push my curves
against its edge, to get myself
a little extra attention?

But it’s fine where I am.
I’ll never make out what’s going on
around me, and that’s the joy of it.

The fact that I’m not a perfect circle
makes me more interesting in this world.
People will stare forever

– Even the most unemotional get excited.
So here I am, on the edge of animation,
a dream, a dance, a fantastic construction,

A child’s adventure.
And nothing in this tawny sky
can get too close, or move too far away.

from Split Word: Poems 1990-2005 (Bloodaxe, 2008), Moniza Alvi 2008, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Moniza Alvi in the Poetry Store

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.

Close