Finding the Art in Everything

13 November, 2008

Poetry Jam

Today I'm reading for the MVA Poetry Club's Poetry Jam that is part of Fine Arts Week. (I wish I had something of my own to read, but I can't afford to dwell there today.)

I am reading these three poems I found on the Underground in London:

'I saw a man pursuing the horizon'

I saw a man pursuing the horizon
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
"It is futile," I said,
"You can never--"

"You lie," he cried,
And ran on.

--Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

The London Eye

Through my gold-tinted Gucci glasses,
the sightseers. Big Ben's quarter chime
strikes the convoy of number 12 buses
that bleeds int the city's monochrome.

Through somebody's zoom lens, me shouting
to you, "hello...on...bridge...'minster!"
The aerial view postcard, the man writing
squat words like black cabs in rush hour.

The South Bank buzzes with a rising treble.
You kiss my cheek, formal as a blind date.
We enter Cupid's Capsule, a thought bubble
where I think, "Space age!", you think "She was late."

Big Ben strikes six, my SKIN. Beat blinks, replies
18.02. We're moving anti-clockwise.

Patience Agbabi (b.1965)

from Ode: Intimations of Immortality

THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath pass'd away a glory from the earth.

--William Wordsworth (1770-1850)


One Perfect Rose

A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet -
One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
'My fragile leaves,' it said, 'his heart enclose.'
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

--Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

No comments: