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Wednesday 17 August 2011

Love Song to London

How do I think of you, London, my lovely?
Last time I saw you, alas, you were dirty:
Oxford Street cluttered with boxes and beer cans,
litter and dust clouds there, blown by the wind.
I'll forgive you the way all lovers forgive
their beloveds their failings and each fleeting
lapse, for these are not thoughts I wish to retain;
they cannot erase the warmth that I feel
for galleries tucked out of sight in your back
ways; dealers inviting the populace in.
Colourful, small, like the stalls in a kasbah -
not that they'd thank me for putting it so! -
with paintings and prints to delight jaded souls.

In one such a gallery, columns of smoke
signalled the end of my favourite coat -
one extra tale for another occasion,
one extra lapse, already forgiven - how
could I drop you, your House of Commons?
(The best entertainment for free you can get!
Dead meats and their prices debated for hours.)
How not to forgive who showed me the ballet,
Berisova, Fonteyn, and then Drury Lane,
not least, The Royal Court, Pinter, Osborne and co.
Oh London, my Lovely, I'll pardon your faults,
though the riots, I grant, will take a wee while.

Oh London, my lovely, your charms are sublime,
brighter by far than a bright starry sky,
more abundant than stars. But these are the charms
that remind me I love you - and why that is so.

The suggestion to write about a city was made by dVerse ~ Poets Pub


That Janie Girl said...

Wow. You just "flung a cravin'" on me to visit! Beautiful.

Carl said...

Wonderful. You really got this one right. I want to hop on a plane.

Niamh B said...

That poem has a fantastic flow and music to it, and great depth of feeling. I must admit I clicked over thinking it would be just about the riots, but this wider lens on the beauty to be found in a city was really enjoyable to read.

Mark said...

Wow! Rad stuff, I really like it:) But in London...what's not to like;)

Victoria said...

David, the personification of a beloved city works so well. Trying to overlook her faults and focus on what makes her beautiful and attractive. A visit to London and the rest of the British Isles is definitely on my bucket list...have never been even though I lived in Brittany!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I can't say that I echo these feelings Dave - I used to years ago but since I came to live in the deep countryside towns scare me.

CiCi said...

Dirty, riots, some disappointment, but you stand by your love for this wonderful city. There is still much to appreciate in London, yes? You have to be adventurous more than ever though.

Jenny Woolf said...

Nice post. It captures the way I feel about London too, I think

Windsmoke. said...

You hit the nail right on the head with this poem :-).

Conda Douglas said...

It's been a while since I've had time to comment, Dave, and I've returned to read this lovely poem. It made me want to return to London, TODAY and stay forever!

Mary said...

Strong and succinct, Dave. I did enjoy my times in London though. Last time 1987, I think. I just love all the history there. Am saddened about the recent lawlessness!

Dave King said...

That Janie Girl
Hi. Welcome to the blog, and many thanks for stopping to comment.

Thanks Carl - should be safe to do so now!!

Niamb B
Hi, thanks for visiting , and welcome to you. I am really glad you like the poem and appreciate you saying so.

Mark Noce
Thanks Mark and a warm welcome to you. Much thanks for the compliment. What's not to like? Well, truth to tell it's a while since I've been: after the riots? Probably a bit of dust!

Good to hear from you and to hear that you liked the poem. Hope London - when you come - doesn't let the side down! Thanks for commenting.

The Weaver of Grass
I do know what you mean. I would have likked to ve to the deep country (I think!), but am poised between both. I'm a bit out of date with London, but it's still the town or city I know best. I do miss not deing just a bus ride from its heart, but I wouldn't want to live there.

All true, all so very true, but I think it's world-wide now - so far as the big cities are concerned.

I like the "I think". My feelings have always fluctuated in the face of changing circumstances.

Much thanks for the encouragement in your comment.

Wow! Maybe I should offer it to The Tourist Board! Thanks a lot for the compliment - and don't worry about the time not commenting. I do perfectly well understand. Good to have you back.

Good to have your comment and to hear that you enjoyed your time in London. Here's hoping that the sad times are behind us!

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

A wonderful city tribute poem and political commentary, all in one.

Dave King said...

A bit behind, catching up with you, for which much apology. Good to have your visit. Thanks for the comment.