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Saturday, 25 April 2009

The Lyric


The Hay-Wain: John Constable, 1821 (National Gallery of Art)

lament, sorrow and wild
joy commingle in

the lyric -– a collective
sigh of relief comes cascading
out of the blue –-

a yearning to submerge
in life like the swimmer
in the pool forgetful

immersed and quenched –-
as though in the same stroke
everyone alive were speaking through you –-

a promissory blessing -- might come true --

from Breakfast Comix 1: Tom Raworth



Zephirine said...

"Is it possible to be blithe?"

That is, indeed, the question...

TC/BTP said...


One is reminded of Shelley's skylark--

...blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Shelley probably had it right about the bird not having premeditated its song, but wrong about its never having been a bird. Pure premeditation on Shelley's part--inescapable really--and not just for Shelley.

Lally said...

One is also reminded of similarly generic movie stills and old photos and cartoons collaged with word balloons from other sources ala Terence Winch, Ray DiPalma and so many others back in the 1960s and '70s. Is this a predominantly poets' practice?

TC/BTP said...


I can remember as a clueless teenager fashioning my own pasted-in talk-and-thought-balloons, having been once caught doing it in freshman high school chem lab by an uncompromising robed scholar named Father Fisher. My favorite sources were the works of Alex Raymond, because the characters looked so real and ... what, serious?

Lally said...

We all must have been influenced by something in the air. I had no access to art books let alone galleries/museums (or had no one around me who might suggest checking them out) in my "pre-teens" (early 1950s) but nonetheless made my own versions of these from ads for burlesque joints etc. in the daily New York tabloids my old man read every morning (The New York Daily News and The New York Mirror) full of Weegie photos etc. I'd cut them out and glue them into old kids books my older siblings had left behind when they joined the service or got married. But I'd wrote my own balloon bubbles, mostly erotic, or rewrite the copy to make it more what I took then for sexy and hip. What a book that would make, if it were possible to reclaim any of those old personal collages from our generation's early years.