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Sunday, 1 May 2011
In search of spacious poetry
Tate Modern's Turbine Hall:
a space to test conceptual powers -
almost to destruction.
How can an individual fill a space like this?
Though few are called and fewer chosen,
art eschews the easy victory,
prefers to fail at the impossible -
the task a metaphor for that
which faced the Great Creator when
the world was yet an empty shell.
But here in Turbine Hall is space
an ocean might not fill,
space that awaits a single concept, not a world
of possibilities. The thing about
this eeriness is what has gone:
the turbines that once powered a neighourhood.
It's these the installations must replace.
So much has vanished from our world,
our culture, our environment. From us.
We need to give the space that's left
a shape, dimensions, to define its emptiness.
can make the poet in us all
Yet poetry deserves its Turbine Hall,
a fairy godmother to call
and wave her magic wand,
something gargantuan in us,
in what we stand for,
that only poetry could fill. But
what a vastness and what poetry!
Mankind perhaps would end up looking small,
creation grow beyond today's imagination -
but individual man walk tall.
Do not suppose in saying "vastness" I mean "long".
Words do not fill such spaces by their numbers,
but by a coefficient of expansion. This,
the soul, and only it, can give.
The image is from the Wikipedia website