Anne M Carson – A young George Sand

Carson LE P&W June 2023

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing June 2023

A young George Sand, (Aurore), rides Donkey to Mass, poem by Anne M Carson.
from George Sand (and me): a poetic auto/biography

A young George Sand, (Aurore),
rides Donkey to Mass

1809, Nohant 
Donkey is his name
and we love him.
Patchy ragamuffin coat
slow and steady gait.
Ursule and I are lifted
up into his woven panniers
one on each side, settled
in the straw, and Donkey
carries us to Mass –
a joyous, plodding
processional. Mesmerised
by the rhythm of his rolling
gait I imagine us into
stories – we are royal
children returning from
exile, we are being
spirited away from one
world into the next to

help rescue the people.
The great blue vault of

sky above is a perfect
backdrop for my wild

imaginings. Donkey is
a docile and respectful

rascal, able to nudge
latches open with his

muzzle. One day he makes
his way to grandmama’s

chamber – manoeuvring
his four legs down eight

steps, across the kitchen
through the scullery, (hard

hooves clack-clack-clacking
on flags), to her bedroom

where he expects and
receives her most tender

scoldings, and delicious
dainties from her hand.

© Anne M Carson

Anne M Carson is a poet, essayist and visual artist whose poetry has been published internationally, and widely in Australia, receiving numerous awards, including winning and shortlisting in the Martha Richardson medal, a shortlisting in the 2023 Ada Poetry Prize and Longlisting in the 2023 Fish International Poetry Prize. Her work has been broadcast on national and community radio and she has curated a programme of poems on disability on ABC’s Poetica programme. Her most recent publication is The Detectives Chair (Liquid Amber Press 2023). She has initiated a number of poetry-led social justice projects, including The River Project Soiree as a fundraiser for the RiverKeepers and a greeting card as fundraiser for the Carbon Positive Charity. She is on the final stretch of a PhD in Creative Writing at RMIT, writing a poetic biography of George Sand.

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