“If a wound could speak” asks the poet Clare Shaw, the sun slanting in through the window of her home in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, “what would it be saying? ‘I am hurt. I’m in pain.’ If it was a scar – that I have the capacity to heal. Why did I cut myself?” she adds. “I didn’t have the words to express the enormity. Self-injury was an articulate language.”

Then she floors me. “I cut myself, ” she adds, “but here’s the difference. I knew it. There isn’t a person I know who doesn’t know what it’s like to consciously and often deliberately hurt themselves – through overwork, ...


There are approximately 624 more words in this article.

To read the rest of this article, please buy this issue, or join the Resurgence Trust. As a member you will receive access to the complete archive of magazines from May 1966.

Buy Issue Join Us

If you are already a member, please Sign in