Alwyn Marriage

Alwyn Marriage has been a university Philosophy lecturer, Editor of a journal, Chief Executive of two international NGOs and is now Managing Editor of Oversteps Books. Her poetry and non-fiction are published widely and she reads in Britain and abroad.

La Matelote

the restaurant was called la Matelote,
– the same word as le matelot
but ending in an ‘e’
and therefore feminine.
We debated what a female sailor
would be called in English
other than, of course,
a sailor –
‘fish wife’ hasn’t quite the same
éclat: shore-bound and down-to-earth,
she scolds her husband
wipes scale-covered hands on bloodied apron;
‘sailor girl’ sounds
far more jaunty, even saucy,
a jolly sea shanty of a lass
who’s good at knots, but lacks maturity;
a ‘woman of the waves’, though cumbersome,
has a more romantic ring,
laid-back and offering
her ebb and flow, her undulating curves.
In our minds these women all
transmogrified into a mermaid,
sea-born and always breaking free
like words for which there’s no equivalent.
Consulting a dictionary to check
the latest addition to our French vocabulary
we found ‘la matelote’
simply means ‘fish stew’.

Alwyn Marriage

Poem published in French Literary Review and ARTEMISpoetry, Issue 6

Publications (a selection):
Possibly a Pomegranate: Celebrating Womankind, 2022, Palewell Press, ISBN 978-1-911587-61-3. £9.99
Chiara, ebook, Cutalongstory, 99p
Pandora’s Pandemic, 2021, SPM Publications, ISBN 978-1-9162263-7-1. £8
William Harvey’s Visitor, ebook, Cutalongstory, £1.99
The Elder Race, 2020, Bellinghouse Books, ISBN 978-0-9930443-1-1. £10
Rapeseed: Following rape – a novel, 2017, Stairwell Books, ISBN 78-1-939269-51-5. £10

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