Victoria Pugh

Victoria Pugh: Featured Poet

Victoria Pugh


Women weren’t allowed in the magic circle until 1991,
when Mrs Marvellous squeezed inside.

She started with children’s parties,
making packs of cards into concertinas,
producing bouquets of flowers that sprang apart,
secreting ping-pong balls in the sleeve of her jacket.

That wasn’t enough.

She put her hand on a child’s head,
conjured inner magic from behind his ear,
stretched the coils in his mind –
the pieces in between dropped out.
She showed him the folds in the night,
like the miles of villi inside him,
the way stairs unfolded as he stepped on them,
then folded up again.

That wasn’t enough.

She took the circle from the atom bomb
folded it up, and folded it again,
made a fan to cool his face –
told him that bats’ wings are broken circles;
the centre of a Catherine wheel
is the quietest place.

That wasn’t enough.

She said she looked in his windows at night.
She was the past,
she’d grown out of a bush,
at one stage she’d been
a sort of centaur, half woman, half leaf –
pulling herself from a hedge
had been very painful.

That wasn’t enough,
he wanted blood.

She lay in a tank
and pretended to drown –
stuck swords through her arms,
watched herself bleeding,
hung from a bridge and waited to drop.

She jumped from a crane –
was crushed on the pavement.

That was enough.
Thank you, Mrs Marvellous.



Victoria was born in London and has lived in various parts of Wales, in the Lake District and now lives in Reading.  She has been placed in various competitions including the Cardiff International Poetry Competition, the Scintilla Poetry Competition and the Blinking Eye Poetry competition, and has had her poems published in various magazines.  One of her poems was highly commended and published in The Forward Book of Poetry 2009.  Her first collection, Mrs Marvellous, was published by Two Rivers Press in 2008.   Several of her poems also appear in Reading Poetry, an anthology published by Two Rivers Press in 2011.

She teaches English and Basic Skills at Reading College.  She has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University and has recently been working on a postgraduate diploma in the assessing and teaching of learners with dyslexia.

4 thoughts on “Victoria Pugh: Featured Poet”

  1. Very good to see you again Victoria and to read this very thought provoking poem. It speaks volumes for women and the lengths they have had to go to for recognition – the more I read it the more moving I find it and it brings to mind so much. I particularly like:

    She took the circle from the atom bomb
    folded it up, and folded it again,
    made a fan to cool his face


    the way stairs unfolded as he stepped on them,
    then folded up again.

    Thanks for a great read. It’s got me putting on my thinking hat 🙂

  2. Yes, I agree – a great read. The circle imagery makes me think of a book of mandalas that I was leafing through yesterday. The circles in the first part of the poem seem to be connected with her being centred, and her own centredness is the source of her magic and power. Thanks.

  3. A really powerful poem, Victoria. I have to keep going back to it … Thank you – and lovely to see/hear you again!

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