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Friday, 5 June 2015

Philip Whalen: Alleyway

The Abandoned Children of Bucharest | by stimpsonjake

The Abandoned Children of Bucharest. Walking back from a neighbor's house the other day, I passed this disturbing scene. What's even more peculiar is that on the way to my neighbor's house, there was only one abandoned doll, and now suddenly a second showed up alongside the first. Most people just throw their broken dolls away. Not this family. Bucharest, Romania: photo by Jake Stimpson, 13 March 2015
The darling baby!
All wrapped up asleep
In his fuzzy blue bunting
An extra blanket carefully pinned
Around him asleep on the ground
Between two boxes of rubbish
Beside the overflowing garbage cans
All alone. Throwed away.

 Philip Whalen (1923-1999): Alleyway, 3 January 1972, from Overtime, 1999

Abandoned | by Trojan_Llama

Abandoned. Unloved. Baby in town centre. Spotted in a back alley of Wisbech: photo by Trojan_Llama, 8 February 2014


Anonymous said...

those images arise strong emotions thinking about the story that they keep

Curtis Faville said...

Whalen's poem was first published in the first issue of my magazine L.

I hadn't seen it elsewhere, until Overtime appeared.

I've always thought it one of PW's best.

The orphanhood of the infant seems "held" by the indifferent universe, such that pity and terror are somehow set aside, in favor of a Buddhist passivity.

"All throwed away."

We're all thrown away, dropped into the chaos of the world.

TC said...

Thanks Sandra and Curtis.

Curtis, you can say that again.

"All throwed away."

Who needs Heidegger when we have, or once had, the vernacular.

Have long appreciated this poem for the nagging discomfort around the edges, the uneasiness, slight queasiness.

Tonal uncertainty always a delicate thing, interesting, looked for same in images...

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Whalen's poem certainly
No throwaway.