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The Emma Press


Second Place Rosette: Poems about Britain

Second Place Rosette: Poems about Britain


Edited by Emma Wright and Richard O’Brien.

“They said Indian patterns would be best:
the peacocks, the paisleys, of course the girl-boy faces,
and they said his name should be a whisper
in your hand and that the rose-petalled sheets
would wait until he traced it, and they said
you should seal it with lemon and sugar,
and even if it itched and the smell of wet made you sick,
you should sleep with it on, and they said, the next day,
you shouldn’t wash as water weakens the stain,
and they said, instead, you heat your hands over a stove,
and the darker the coppered hue,
the deeper his love.
And you on that red stool in the middle of the room,
you said,

– ‘Mehndi Night’, by Shruti Chauhan, from Second Place Rosette.

128 pages / 52 poems

Publication date: 8 November 2018

Paperback ISBN 9781910139554

GTIN: N/A SKU: 978-1-910139-55-4 Categories: , , , Tag:

The Emma Press

The Emma Press is an independent publisher specialising in poetry, short fiction and children’s books. We are trying to make publishing and literature as welcoming and accessible as possible.


Second Place Rosette is a collection of poems about the customs, rituals and practices that make up life in modern Britain.

The poems take in maypole dancing, mehndi painting, and medical prescriptions. Some events, like the Jewish Sabbath, happen every week; some, like the putting away of Christmas decorations, thankfully come only once a year.

Much of the book displays an ambivalence towards the land and its rituals, but there is also love, affection and pride. Mixed feelings: what could be more British than that?

Additional information

Dimensions 12.3 × 18.4 cm

Print, eBook

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