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09 September 2006

A friend suggested I write poetry. Or perhaps a poem, which is not at all the same thing. A perplexing thought. Partly because everything written is a poem; the 'poem' is one particular pose from which to begin, and not one I find comfortable. It wasn't once like that. But I was not a very good 'poet'. I do, though, like to think I'm an acceptable poet, in the words I put on pages and screens, the pictures I take, the gifts I make and give.

Not that the 'poem' isn't a wonderful thing; indeed it's lines of poetry, not literature, that remain in my head:

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:


Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicèan barks of yore
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
The weary way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.


So I must give back your beautiful pearls,
With two tears to match them.

And that last! So beautiful, so sad, so perfectly said.

And what better to write poems of than love?