Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Poeme en forme d'Appleyard

The distinguished poet D.J.Mills has sent me a new work, prompted, he tells me, by "Appleyardian concerns". I am honoured, this is one good poet.I have his permission to reproduce it here along with an explanatory note. This is strictly copyright material.

"Well, I was lying in bed contemplating the refracted light spread by the mirror across the wall and thinking about Keats's unwoven rainbow and how most of us don't really understand what scientists are up to anyway. Are they really explaining the world or just rendering it more mysterious? And don't they do bizarre things - such as come up with string theory or poke themselves in the eye with blunt needles... All of which seemed an Appleyardian concern. And then my daughter came in and said, Look at the shadow of the rainbow. And I thought, Bingo. (And finally six months later finished these 14 lines...)"

Umbra Sumus

The world's turning and the shadow falls
With the weight of light. Coarcted in her eyes
The silence is slower and he calculates
Like something silver falling. We are shadows
With a look to disturb the feasting spider,
Pulling slow into the water his split teeth,
Roiled cogs and a taste of salt.

Look at the shadow of the rainbow, she says.
It's the morning sunlight bouncing off
The Venetian glass deep in the dark room.
Splitting, refracted, I was thinking of her
Potency over refluent waters.
It's not quietus, but it is a bare bodkin
That Newton jabs and twists into his eye.

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