Published by Cultured Llama in 2015, Zygote Poems documents the journey into new fatherhood, and Plymouth poet Richard Thomas has collaborated with local producers Veneer and Dragonfruit Planet to give two of the poems a more audible dynamic.
The first, ‘She Craved Tinned Pineapple Chunks’, about a regular walk to Mutley Plain in Plymouth to find the aforementioned tinned pineapple, takes what could be deemed as a mundane task and puts it through Richard’s own lens of father-to-be-responsibility. Comparing himself to Roald Amundsen in the poem may seem like a giant leap for some, but as a doting father-to-be, Richard’s quest felt just as critical to ensure the needs of both mother and baby were met.
Plymouth producer, Veneer, reiterated the mood of the poem with a soundscape he said ‘…explored the sounds of trepidation and uncertainty; not everything is perfectly in time. In contrast to this, a beat does remain, hidden beneath the amalgamation of sounds, solid, stout. There are sounds of hospital machinery, counting down the nine months of pregnancy, and sounds reminiscent of space exploration and sci-fi movies. A trip into the unknown.’
The second, ‘Zygote Poem’, was prompted by an email newsletter Richard subscribed to comparing the size of his human-in-the-making to different fruits, vegetables, and seeds as it grew within the womb.
Richard had recorded his daughter’s heartbeat from within the womb during an antenatal appointment, which Dragonfruit Planet incorporated into a soundscape that would capture the womb’s atmosphere and, as he puts it, ‘was inspired by the heartbeat of an urban rainforest, existing within the heart of a modern day person, like a hidden forest of dreams beating away quietly beneath the surface of their daily thoughts and activities.’
If you’d like more ‘Zygote Poems’, you can read them all in Richard’s book available here.
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