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This poem is taken from PN Review 253, Volume 46 Number 5, May - June 2020.

Say Elbow, Say Heart and other poems Suzannah V. Evans
Say Elbow, Say Heart

Spritsail, butt block, camber, centreboard,
aligned ribs, apron, gaff rigged sloop, breasthook.

The boatbuilders balance by curved pieces of timber
(oak for the keel, pitch pine
for hull planking, larch for masts and spars).
They let language fall from their tongues,
let it shape the movement of their hands.

Chine construction, scantlings, sap wood, rowlock,
topside, capstan, bowsprit, fender, jib, footwell.

I say elbow, and they think of the curved piece
of frame at the turn of the bilge, I say heart,
and they picture the centre of a section of timber.

Pintle, peak up, planking, rabbet, rigging,
oakum, middle futtock, limber hole, lodging knee.

The language is worked into the wood as they move,

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