Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sunday Poem

1er Palais Royal

A foreign city in a foreign language:
Errors you will find your way around
Less by misconstruction of an image
Idiomatic as the underground
Than by reference to the lost and found
Out-of-date semantic luggage
And archaic sentimental slang which
Used to mean so much. Take care of the sound!
Dog-eared volumes of experience rebound ,
Sense can take care of itself. Abandoned baggage,
I sought to celebrate you, not confound;
Apart from the smarts you brought me, grand dommage,
A throne’s stowaway, you still astound
The razor’s edge dividing youth from age.

Xe Gare du Nord

Haunted by arrivals and departures ,
The desperate farewell of handkerchiefs,
This dingy greenhouse architecture nurtures
An exotic growth of greetings, griefs
And brief encounters under iron arches
Overlooked by smutty petroglyphs.
Having said goodbye to make-beliefs
And all a single backward glance can purchase,
Through the unsympathetic crowd one searches
Among reunions, tears and tiffs
And unfamiliarity that tortures
The traveller with interminable ifs
For those extraordinary features
Familiarity enfiefs.

XIVe Observatoire

Obvious from the Observatory,
After the abdication of the moon
Heaven explicates a bedtime story
Full of incident and interest, humane
Like anything significant to man,
The everlasting, transitory
Celestial phenomenon
In all its superannuated glory,
A roman fleuve that one is seldom sorry
To see abridged by dawn. The stars remain
Secure in their orbits, never in a hurry,
Worlds superior to yours and mine,
Dispassionate, explanatory,
Suggesting more than they can ever mean.

From The Essential Daryl Hines (selected by James Pollock, Porcupine's Quill, 2015) 

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