Andrew Philip’s The Ambulance Box

Andrew Philip

Andrew Philip was born in Aberdeen in 1975. He lived in Berlin for a short spell in the 1990s before studying linguistics at Edinburgh University. The Ambulance Box, his first book of poems, is published by Salt. It was shortlisted for the first book category in the 2010 Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Awards and for the 2009 Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.

The Ambulance Box is a timely reminder of the range and power of the lyric. This is a powerful debut, and Andrew Philip’s is a significant new voice.”
– Michael Symmons Roberts
“Andrew Philip is part of a significant group of younger Scottish poets. This is poetry which achieves its ambitions nimbly and without fuss. In doing so it talks, quietly but urgently, to us all.”
– W.N. Herbert
“It is rare to encounter a voice of this kind in which a burnished clarity of utterance seems the only conceivable response to life experienced as a profound yet daily miracle.”
– David Kinloch
“‘This dove is here for the duration.’ With precision and delicacy, Andrew Philip explores what it means to live by faith in a ruptured world.”
– Lorraine Marriner
The Ambulance Box delights readers with a dance through images and words that express powerful visionary and and spiritual experiences … [and] encourage us to explore the visual and linguistic connections that link art with faith and uncertainty; art with loss and discovery; and art with the artist.”
– Rosie Shepherd, Magma
The Invention of Zero
Andrew Philip

What like was it
       this abundant world
where nothing was not—
       no neat ring
shackling us to absence,
       no way not
to count or be counted—
       where everything
filled without this
       empty nest of a number
perched in the mind,
       everything swerved
its wide white oblivion;
       and could we,
given the state of our knowledge,
       live with the lack of it
unable to quantify
       certain populations
in the wild, the exhaustion
       of our reserves,
the number and intensity
       of cries in the night?
Andrew Philip

for Aidan Michael Philip

this is the arm that held you
this is the hand that cradled your cold feet
these are the ears that heard you
whimper and cough throughout your brush with light
this is the chest that warmed you
these are the eyes that caught your glimpse of life
this is the man you fathered —
his voided love, his writhen pride and grief
Order The Ambulance Box from Salt.
Visit Andrew’s website and blog here.
Listen to Andrew reading four poems at PoetCasting.

3 thoughts on “Andrew Philip’s The Ambulance Box

  1. Pingback: From the Moon to the Gutter « Website and blog of the Scottish poet Andrew Philip

  2. Julie

    I love poems that stop me in my tracks and shake me with their meaning. “The Invention of Zero” did that, of course. Then when I went back and read it several more times, I am equally as impressed by the structure and sound of the words. Fantastic work.

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