Saturday, May 15, 2004

Things tell less and less

The Guardian writes today that a previously unseen Kingsley Amis poem has been discovered by his biographer, Zachary Leader. It's reproduced below.


Things tell less and less:
The news impersonal
And from afar; no book
Worth wrenching off the shelf.
Liquor brings dizziness
And food discomfort; all
Music sounds thin and tired,
And what picture could earn a look?
The self drowses in the self
Beyond hope of a visitor.
Desire and those desired
Fade, and no matter:
Memories in decay
Annihilate the day.

There once was an answer:
Up at the stroke of seven,
A turn round the garden
(Breathing deep and slow),
Then work, never mind what,
How small, provided that
It serves another's good

But once is long ago
And, tell me, how could
Such an answer be less than wrong,
Be right all along?

Vain echoes, desist

The Guardian suggests, rightly, I think, that it is a suitable companion poem to Larkin's magnificent Aubade, which you can read here, if you are minded to do so.

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