Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Poem of the Week

Essential Beauty

In frames as large as rooms that face all ways
And block the ends of streets with giant loaves,
Screen graves with custard, cover slums with praise
Of motor-oil and cuts of salmon, shine
Perpetually these sharply-pictured groves
Of how life should be. High above the gutter
A silver knife sinks into golden butter,
A glass of milk stands in a meadow, and
Well-balanced families, in fine
Midsummer weather, owe their smiles, their cars,
Even their youth, to that small cube each hand
Stretches towards. These, and the deep armchairs
Aligned to cups at bedtime, radiant bars
(Gas or electric), quarter-profile cats
By slippers on warm mats,
Reflect none of the rained-on streets and squares

They dominate outdoors. Rather, they rise
Serenely to proclaim pure crust, pure foam,
Pure coldness to our live imperfect eyes
That stare beyond this world, where nothing's made
As new or washed quite clean, seeking the home
All such inhabit. There, dark raftered pubs
Are filled with white-clothed ones from tennis-clubs,
And the boy puking his heart out in the Gents
Just missed them, as the pensioner paid
A halfpenny more for Granny Graveclothes' Tea
To taste old age, and dying smokers sense
Walking towards them through some dappled park
As if on water that unfocused she
No match lit up, nor drag ever brought near,
Who now stands newly clear,
Smiling, and recognising, and going dark.

Philip Larkin

Life has gone crazy, so I have hardly had the time to write up things. If I had the time, this is what I would talk about:

-Kenneth Branagh
-Mrs Miniver

I'll get there eventually, sit tight!!


Anonymous said...

Lovely poem, now please write about Kenneth Branagh, Strictly, and did I say Kenneth Branagh!!??


oxford-reader said...

I shall bow to your demands this evening ;-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry to sound so bossy, forgive me and, please put your feet up and forget the blog, until you want to post. Hope you are keeping warm.

oxford-reader said...

Oh no! It's fine to be bossy (although you weren't!) I should be able to post tomorrow, and it'll be all about the great K.B.!

GeraniumCat said...

I went to see Ivanov a couple of weeks ago, and now I'm dying to watch Wallander - last Sunday's waiting for me when I get home, I hope.

oxford-reader said...

Wallander was quite good - looking forward to the next one!