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Friday 20 July 2012

Love Song to London

Celebrating its first anniversary, dVersepoets asks us to encore a poem submitted to them in the last year. The following is a new draft of the one I posted on the 17th August 2011

 How to forgive 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 and forget as all lovers do,
 for these are the prints I've no wish to retain;
 I'll stick with the warmth that I felt for the art shows
 where dealers invited the populace in:
 colourful, small, like the stalls in a kasbah -
 not that they'd thank me for putting it so! -
 their paintings and prints delighting the soul.

 In one of those galleries columns of smoke
 signalled the end of my favourite coat -
 one naked bar fire beneath a small painting,
 one extra lapse, already forgiven.
 How could I drop you and 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 and Fonteyn, and dear Drury Lane?
 The glories reflected to your signal credit
 include 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, are
 brighter by far than the stars in the sky,
 more abundant than ever though marred by your garb.
 Remind me, my London, over and over,
 that change is illusive, you still are the London
 of memory cherished before our brief parting.


ruma said...

Hello, Dave King.

  Your work is embraced in your gentleness.
  And sweet message charms my heart.

  The prayer for all peace.

Have a good weekend. From Japan, ruma❃

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Dave, this is super. I was transported to London while reading the poem.

haricot said...

Recently I saw Oxford area on TV.
I was impressed by the Orchard street, old sundial, appartment for sharing by students and the river. You have splendid memory that wont fade.

Gerry Snape said...

what good memories...lets hope that all the world arriving this week have as many good ones also. I love the beat in this like the beat of the steps on the streets.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

First time I was in London it was a rainy and rather cold day in July 1972 watching the historical slums along the Thames... then I got lost outside Westminster Abbey, in the sense that I lost sight of my teacher and class mates I was with...and I remember how lost and drenched I felt but nevertheless I loved the atmosphere of the place and two years later I wanted to go back there by myself to work...for three months...

ds said...

Sigh...Now I want to go to London...
Thank you.

David Cranmer said...

I have always enjoyed London. You captured it well.

Mary said...

Dave, it is obvious to me that you feel passionate about London. I have been there on two different occasions. There IS something about London!

Dulcina said...

Good choice, Dave!
The lover's song to a city which no longer is what it was... So charming long ago, so dirty now, but love is blind and forgives everything, doesn't it?
A beautiful mixture of compassion, sweet irony and nostalgic sadness.
Ah, I wonder if young people could ever understand our concept of beauty and if there are different beauties for each generation. We cannot understand young people's tastes, so it must be a question of education, but... haven't we educated them?
Maybe our souls were molded in another kind of pattern.
After reading your poem I thought of Sinatra singing it as his "New York, New York", and find I'm King of the hill...

Brian Miller said...

ah nice rework sir...your passion for london seeps through this very nicely....i have yet to go myself though i do hope to be able to in the near future...and you make me want it all th e more...sorry i was traveling today and only now am getting online...

Dave King said...

Welcome and much thanks for your delightful comment. Good to have you visiting.

Thank you so much for saying this. Good to hear you liked it.

Thanks for this. The Oxford Street mentioned is in London. It is one of the main shopping areas in London'sWest End.

Yes good memories, and I sure go along with your wish. Thanks for saying.

Ouch, London sure is not the place in which to get separated from the known crowd. So good, though, when it all pans out OK - as here, presumably.

Me too!

Thanks David, thought I might have let the old girl down, telling of her, warts and all!

There is, you are right, but - maybe it's my age - for me there are two Londons: the one I knew and the present one. Guess it's a generational thing, but still I'm sucked in by them both!

Thank you foe saying so. yes, you are absolutely on the ball. One does forgive all - or nearly all (thinking of the riots, now) - but looking back becomes so much more nostalgic.
Love the reference to Sinatra, and yes, you are there again in mentioning the generational thingy. Thanks for all.

As always, good to hear from you. No need to apologise, I am myself being rather remiss these days - that ole thing life getting in the way once more! Much thanks for your continued support.

Beachanny said...

Here! Here! She has changed since I first saw here, but with every trip I strip away the Eye, Canary Wharf, and that strange green pickle. I re-visit the theaters, the west end haunts, revel in the tube, find new places too --finally found the Victoria and Albert and that was a great day! Revisited the British Museum who had lost its books but not its stacks when first I was there. Last year we ate at the top of the house in a posh restaurant and hooked up with other poets. Pity I didn't know you then. But I'll be back and going back to the country next time to see a few things I didn't see before, like Cambridge, and Blenheim castle -- but I will still spend a lot of time in lovely London - it's my kind of town!
PS Thanks for your kind comments and your coming by so often to my blog. It thrills me more than you know!

A Cuban In London said...

Oh, what a bouncy, nostalgic, irreverent (loved this, by the way, [The best entertainment for free you can get:/dead meats and their prices debated for hours.] Had me in stitches) ode to London.

Many thanks.

Greetings from... you guessed it, London. :-)