Nick Barlow wants us to celebrate National Poetry Day on our blogs. So here is a small cluster of poems or snippets of poems that I like, about death, booze, Augustinianism, commodification. You know, the things that matter.
Sonnet: The Last Things
Of course there’s always a last everything.
The last meal, the last drink, the last sex.
The last meeting with a friend. The last
stroking of the last cat, the last
sight of a son or daughter. Some would be more
charged with emotion than others – if one knew.
It’s not knowing that makes it all so piquant.
A good many lasts have taken place already.
Then there are last words, variously reported,
such as: Let not poor Nelly starve. Or:
I think I could eat one of Bellamy’s veal pies.
If there were time I’d incline to a summary:
Alcohol made my life shorter but more interesting.
My father said (not last perhaps): Say goodbye to Gavin.
— Gavin Ewart
His poem about A Fourteen-Year Old Convalescent Cat in Winter is very fine, too.
… Sometimes when I stand on Blythswood Hill
And strain my eyes (they are old now) to catch
Those changing lights of evening, and the clouds
Going their fiery way towards the firth,
I think we must just be ourselves at last
And wait like prophets – no, not wait, work! –
As prophets do, to see the props dissolve,
The crutches, threats, vain promises,
Altars, ordinances, comminations
Melt off into forgetfulness.
My robe flaps; a gull swoops; man is all.
Cathurian towers will ring this hill.
Engines unheard of yet will walk the Clyde.
I do not even need to raise my arms,
My blessing breathes with the earth.
It is for the unborn, to accomplish their will
With amazing, but only human grace.
http://www.purchased.com/ http://www.our.com/ ,
Trevor’s not a National Poet, though, since he’s from New Zealand. I don’t know if that matters.