For Poetics 1999 byRosemary Mint at dVerse Poets.
1956 and teacher training college. I
am here to study art,
but voices of the friends I've made
are quoting poetry,
I'm hearing snatches, lines like: The
apparition of these faces in a crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.1
Or, even more remarkably:
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table. 2
Or:The corpse you planted last year in your garden,
Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? 3
And then I'm blown away by this and others like it:
After the funeral, mule praises, brays,
Windshake of sailshaped ears, muffle-toed tap
Tap happily of one peg in the thick
Grave's foot, blinds down the lids, the teeth in black. 4
These are a gale of fresh air blowing
through those august corridors to someone
weened at school on works such as
Robert Browning's Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The voices that I'm hearing speak of Eliot and Pound,
of Dylan Thomas, Marvell and John Donne.
The very names are incantations and the poems spells.
There are images to die for and concepts still to fathom.
They have the power to replace thought
and so I do not realise for now
how much of these great works I do not understand.
Later I will understand it does not matter: it
is possible to lose yourself in poetry, enjoy
it for itself and understand it later if need be.
I write some poems in a first enthusiasm. One or two.
The college magazine: that sort of thing. Then nothing.
Four decades. Life is happening around me, to me,
everywhere I look. But then:
in 1999 I am retired and taking up the pen again
before technology and blogging gets its hold.
1 Ezra Pound:Ina Station of the Metro
2 The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock : T.S.Eliot
3 The Waste Land : T.lS.Eliot
4 After the Funeral : Dylan Thomas
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