Ruth Padel

The Freud Museum
February 15, 2012 Padel Ruth

The Freud Museum


It’s 1938. Here’s moss on red brick
at Nutley Terrace and an old man displaced,
just not too late, by swastikas on the portico
in Vienna. His daughter has been caretaking
their flight. The trunks hold a red-topped desk,
T’ang camel, phials of Etruscan glass
dug up from tombs, a print of the Pharoahs
at Abu Simbel and a red-lozenge Persian rug.
All outward bound. What is an object?
Shards from a lost world, gone to ground
then brought to light. And home? A sleeping child.
A nick-of-time railway pass. A letting-go
of neighbourhood gone wild.
Breath on the mirror. A dog, a garden. Found.
                                                                          Freud Museum, London, 2011     

Ruth Padel’s next book, Emerald (Chatto & Windus, 2018), explores Colmbian emerald mining and Indian emerald-cutting. She has published ten collections and is closely engaged with Greece, music, science and conservation. Tigers in Red Weather explored Asian tiger forests. She is Professor of Poetry at King’s College London.