Thursday, September 16, 2010

I went to That London at the weekend, and while I was there, photocopied some of the poems of Nicholas Moore. Here's one I find amusing, mysterious, slightly dark and somehow really beautiful, from Recollections of the Gala, his last full selection for many years before he died:

Girl With A Wine Glass

Bright intelligence. The foot moves
Skillfully, the small hand holds
Its dearest possession stiff and straight.
A young girl holds the world, a pencil

In her clean, her correct hands. Time -
That dubious bird with such a cunning eye -
Elects to look upon her with disdain,
As though it were nothing she is holding.

For Time, and it our conception of time,
Not hers, proves that it is no pencil
She holds so stiffly, nor that her
Demeanour, correct as it is, is anything

But a bluff. The foot moves. The eye
falters. There is a tree grows
In a foreign land, marked, named,
Of a rare species, valuable and tall,

And this it is which, in the woody pencil,
Her attitude is symbol to.
She is intelligent, simple. She moves
With a direct, a frank movement, talks

Without reticence, is friendly, charming, gay.
And yet she holds that thing withing her hands,
Remembering Salome, and, as she speaks,
One sees the hands fold round that tender head.

It seems almost criminal that this poet is no longer in print.

No comments: