‘Heathcliff, it’s me your Cathy’

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If you are not aware already, Wuthering Heights  by Emily Brontë has always been a favourite classic of mine. It’s exploration of the supernatural, fanatical love and human nature is just a few reasons why this gothic novel is regarded as an extraordinary piece of English Literature.

I wrote this poem for my Advanced Poetry Writing module at University and received a first-class. The poem is written from Heathcliff’s perspective in which the ghost of Catherine continues to haunt him. I used Lockwood’s nightmare of Catherine and gave it to Heathcliff as part dream and part hallucination. I wanted the reader to consider the reality of these images; whether her ghost does indeed visit him each night or if it’s merely a fabricated image emerging from the unconscious mind. This question is left for the reader to decide.

Catherine

In this chamber I stay till dawn,

with all windows ajar and a candle awake,

fresh air elevating my eyelids,

while the moon shoots its white pearls

across the moors – reflecting the unseen,

diaries, journals and dust –

you everywhere, yet nowhere,

scratching the walls that shield this earth.


I trace each letter, scribble and verse,

they speak to me like secret riddles –

dancing off the page and into my mouth,

where flames begin to stretch,

choking my tongue and peeling

my gums, burnt and bitter –

a treacherous vengeance for all my sins,

for I am fastened to your shadow.


Only in dreams do I witness your wasted

bones, hidden underneath ivory skin,

razor-sharp cheekbones and a delicate smile,

perfectly still, paused in one moment,

cracking your torso, you shriek

‘Let me in!’ ‘Let me in!’

as you pull the window, forcing your

wrists between the panels, blood


trickling down – imprinting on the stainless

glass, rubbing and tearing your bone,

a pale yellowy residue sweeps over

your skin, and in terror I watch the crease

in your smile dissolve and all that remains

is a mesh of features – a cobweb eye and no

mouth, one leg forward and I find myself

unable on the floor: shaken and thrown.


In this chamber I stay till dawn,

hoping the moors will open its stomach,

for you to return and rejoice.

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