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BooksDecember 3, 2021

The Friday Poem: Open plan living, by Anna Jackson-Scott

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A new poem by Anna Jackson-Scott from the anthology More than a Roof.

Open plan living

The architect

David Chipperfield


a house is a private place

the frontier

between our

      private comfort

and the first step

of where we meet people


I moved away last year

it was not comfortable

I met a French girl        who said

home is where she breaks           apart

so when she goes outside

she can keep herself     together


maybe the four walls

contain her

     maybe a body

is a container


We lived in a huge wooden house

when my family                 split

a parent left home, the house

looked the same

from the outside, I looked in

the structure still

standing, the wood split

      and splintered


through the gaps

between slats

         in my memory

I think it was already      like that


Isn’t there a term in psychology

for when inside–outside doesn’t match?

   some kind of



In the documentary about

the architects

they walk around, looking in

other people’s houses. It seems

to me that architects

live      comfortably

and that the best homes have

  a balance

between indoor–outdoor flow

whether you install French doors,

or find a quiet   space

in the garden.


Taken from the anthology More than a Roof, a new collection of poems and prose about housing, published by Landing Press.

The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are welcome and will be open until 31 December 2021. Please send up to three poems to


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